Fire breaks out at Ashley's Bar-B-Que on Milwaukee's north side

Posted at 12:24 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 13:32:24-04

Another blow for a restaurant on the city's north side. Smoke billowed from the roof of Ashley's Bar-B-Que just after 7:00 a.m. Tuesday.

The restaurant is located at 15th and Center. It took 34 firefighters to tackle the flames.

"We had heavy smoke coming from the exhaust venting system at Ashley's. We had to force entry into the building because nobody was here," said Battalion Chief Joe Hegemen with the Milwaukee Fire Department.

In fact, the owner of Ashley's says the barbecue joint was closed yesterday, so nobody should have been in the building.

Ashley's has been at 15th and Center for nearly 20 years. This is the restaurant's second blow. In September, a car plowed into the front of the building.

"This is our foundation right here and at this point our foundation is shaken," said Jazzmon Hughes. Ashley's has been in his family for nearly 20 years.

"We're a family of fighters. No matter what happens, that SUV came through the wall and my dad started cooking the next morning. God willing, nothing's going to stop us from reopening Ashley's."

"No matter what, we're opening, you know that," said Darnell Ashley, the owner of Ashley's. 

"My dad built this building in the 60's. That's why a lot of people know us. We are one of the first barbecue spots," he said.

There's no word on the cause of the fire or how much damage was done.