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Fire damage at The Yolk 'extensive'

Rachel Southmayd
rsouthmayd@heraldonline.com

ROCK HILL The Yolk in Rock Hill will likely be closed for some time after an overnight fire caused extensive damage to the restaurant.

At 8:30 on a weekday morning, The Yolk, a prominent Rock Hill restaurant, is usually bustling with customers. But on Monday, when a car pulled into the shopping center parking lot on Mount Gallant Road, the restaurant owners waved them off.

“We’re closed,” said Greg Collier. “We had a fire.”

Instead of a parking lot full of people ready to order pancakes and omelettes, the only cars belonged to the Colliers and a fire inspector, with the door to The Yolk wide open – the air filled with the acrid smell of smoke and melted plastic.

The fire happened sometime between 10 p.m. Sunday and 5 a.m. Monday, said Subrina Collier, Greg’s wife.

It was around 5 a.m. Monday when Greg Collier got to The Yolk to prepare for the 7 a.m. opening. He saw the smoke and damage and realized there had been a fire and called for help, said Charles Williamson, a fire investigator with the York County Fire Marshals Office.

Firefighters never saw flames. A burst pipe had put the fire out long before they arrived. There were no sprinklers and no fire alarm system.

“When that building was built, you didn’t need them,” Williamson said.

A firewall was in place between The Yolk and the business next door.

Inside the restaurant, a gray film covered the walls and many items were wilted or misshapen. Even the blades of the ceiling fans pointed to the ground from the heat.

It was that heat – which reached up to 1,500 degrees Farenheit – and the smoke that did the most damage to the restaurant, Williamson said.

Williamson estimated the damage at around $50,000 to $75,000.

“It’s pretty extensive,” he said.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control will oversee the clean-up effort.

While The Yolk reported it was an electrical fire, Williamson said the cause was under investigation, but electrical had not been ruled out.

No matter the cause, the damage will prevent The Yolk from reopening in the immediate future, Williamson said.

On Facebook, fans of The Yolk expressed their sympathy and wishes that the restaurant recover quickly.

“We will have to close our doors until we get everything sorted out,” the restaurant posted on Facebook.

“It’s going to take a while, I’m sure,” Williamson said.

The Yolk opened in 2012 at 1204 Mount Gallant Road and quickly became one of Rock Hill’s top breakfast spots. In 2013, The Yolk received The Herald’s reader’s choice “Buzzie” award for Best Breakfast/Brunch.

Rachel Southmayd 803-329-4072

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