PIKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Wednesday marks two weeks since a three-alarm blaze destroyed the iconic Jilly’s Bar and Grill in Pikesville, and as the owners look toward their future, fire officials are trying to make sure others are prepared in case a similar tragedy strikes.
Firefighters went door to door in the area Tuesday, spreading fire safety awareness. While fire officials said Jilly’s did everything right, the fire sent shock waves through the area.
For that reason, they hit the streets to use the event as a way to further neighboring businesses’ awareness.
“This business was prepared, so we want to make sure the rest of the community is prepared just like they were,” Lt. Travis Francis with the Baltimore County Fire Department said.
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The fire at Jilly’s is believed to have been intentionally set; 40-year-old David McDermott is charged with arson in the case. Police said McDermott pushed propane heaters against the building and lit them, igniting the siding.
Flames caused the roof to collapse, and the charred remains are fenced off.
Kathie Reich and her husband Scott have owned the restaurant for decades. They joined the firefighters in front of their beloved restaurant Tuesday with a sense of hope.
“I’m still a little emotional,” Reich said. “It still hurts every now and then, but the more I come down here, the more I see it, the more I’m like, ‘Well, this is an opportunity for us to move forward.'”
Since the fire, Reich said a number of area businesses have reached out to offer work to her employees and a GoFundMe page set up to help cover expenses has garnered quite a bit of support.
As for what’s next, the Reichs said they plan to rebuild and hope to have all their employees return.