Right now, experts believe the fire started due to winds from Hurricane Harvey. According to The Statesman, it's believed that heavy winds blew through the building and an ember wound up flying from the smoker and sparking a flame.
Thankfully, the fire didn't cause any injuries, even though an employee was on site when it started. The employee quickly called the fire department and firefighters took only about 30 minutes to get the blaze under control.
Franklin expects repairs to take up to a month to complete but isn't certain on a timeline for reopening yet. During the meantime, he is looking for a place to conduct business somewhere else in Austin. Luckily, his smokers received very little damage, so they should be back up and running pretty quickly.
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Initial damage estimates for the property are around $350,000. Sadly, the smokehouse, where the fire started, suffered a lot of damage. The kitchen and dining room only suffered a minor amount of smoke damage.
Franklin Barbecue is a staple in the Austin area. They offer award-winning smoked meats and draw long lines of customers each day. Franklin built the smokehouse portion of the restaurant just three years ago. Hopefully, the team will be able to find a temporary location to feed their hungry fans soon.