The fire was nothing, really.
But the barbecue delicacies from Southern Soul restaurant are likely to be a big deal when they are delivered to the men and women of Glynn County Fire-Rescue Station 2 at 1929 Demere Road on St. Simons Island.
A fire started in the ceiling of the smokehouse of the famous barbecue joint early Wednesday morning, Glynn County Fire-Rescue Division Chief Wendell Knighten said. Firefighters at Station 2, received a call about the fire at 6:18 a.m. and were on scene 4 minutes later, Knighten said.
An employee was battling the blaze with a standard kitchen fire extinguisher when firefighters arrived, he said. A firefighter on the responding fire truck finished off the fire with a larger type of extinguisher that shoots pressurized water, Knighten said. Firefighters cleared the scene at 7:04 a.m.
Southern Soul co-owner Griffin Bufkin had been caught up in a lengthy meeting when contacted Wednesday afternoon. It was a minor fire, he confirmed, nothing to slow service at the wildly popular restaurant in the roundabout at 2020 Demere Road. A grease buildup around an exhaust fan was overlooked by the cleaning crew and sparked a rising wood ember, he said. The smokehouse is a separate building that is adjacent to the actual restaurant. It is where the barbecuing magic takes place.
Bufkin said a batch of that Southern Soul barbecue is definitely being delivered to the folks at Station 2 as a show of sincere thanks.
“They don’t want us to burn down, and I don’t blame them,” Bufkin said. “I’m going to run some barbecue over to the firehouse as soon as I get a chance. We appreciate them.”
Bufkin and business partner Harrison Sapp lost their first Southern Soul restaurant to a fire in 2010, but were able to rebuild. As a result of that ordeal, the two started the Firebox Initiative. The charity that raises money for restaurant and service industry workers facing unforeseen emergencies.