Chris Madrid's owner assesses fire damage, starts cleanup

'It will be weeks' before restaurant reopens

SAN ANTONIO – Just over 24 hours after a fire tore into the iconic Chris Madrid's restaurant, the owner and the employees showed up at work Monday to assess the damage and to start a cleanup plan.

After looking at the damage, owner Richard Peacock said it's going to take some time to clean up and renovate.

"It will be weeks. It's not going to be days," Peacock said. "It's pretty extensive in there. It's very smoky, and the back part of the building where the men's restrooms were, there's a lot of damage. But it's very recoverable. It could have been so much worse."

Related: Chris Madrid's posts photos after fire

Peacock credits firefighters with saving the restaurant at 1900 Blanco Road.

"Every one of those firefighters was really trying to find a way to not only put the fire out but minimize damage," Peacock said. "And I liked the fact that one of them joked, 'Look. A lot of us come here all the time, and we didn't want to be the ones to get blamed for the place burning down!' You got to love that."  

Chris Madrid's opened about 40 years ago, and Peacock, who just became the owner about a month and a half ago, said he's moved by all the support from the community, the neighborhood and employees. 

Related: New owner of Chris Madrid's vows restaurant will be 'even better than before'

"To see, on Bosses Day, the day after we have a fire, they still show up to give Diana (Chris Madrid's sister) a cake to surprise her, I think that says a lot about the kind of people we have working here," Peacock said. "I think it speaks a lot to why the restaurant has been successful, really."

Peacock said he will be keeping his customers updated on the restaurant's Facebook page.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined.

About the Author:

Stephanie Serna is a weekday anchor on Good Morning San Antonio and GMSA at 9 a.m. She joined the KSAT 12 News team in November 2009 as a general assignments reporter.