After being heavily damaged by a fire, a popular restaurant along San Diego’s Embarcadero is back in the mix, and one of the first orders of business is giving back to the firefighters who saved the eatery.
On Wednesday, as a heartfelt “thank you” to first responders, the staff at the Top of the Market restaurant – located at 750 N. Harbor Dr. – presented the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) with a check for $5,000.
Over the past few months, the eatery has spearheaded fundraising efforts for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Foundation in hopes of raising money to donate to the fire department, specifically to purchase life-saving devices for firefighters known as the Personal Escape System (PES). The equipment enables firefighters to quickly deploy out of a multi-story building amid a firefighting mission.
The PES gives firefighters the ability to exit a burning building in less than 30 seconds, should they become trapped. The equipment is essential in today’s fire environment, where homes burn faster than ever. Currently, the SDFD’s escape system takes four minutes. The purchase of PES devices will allow for safer firefighting.
SDFD Chief Brian Fennessy and many of the firefighters that helped battle the blaze at Top of the Market were at Wednesday’s donation ceremony. They proudly accepted the check and met with restaurant staffers who are grateful the business was saved by fire crews.
"We are grateful to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department,” said Dwight Colton, the restaurant company's Vice President of Operations. "Given what we experienced, it is our pleasure to support a cause for our first responders and give back."
The fierce flames from the May 2015 fire also damaged the lower-level Fish Market sister restaurant, but Top of the Market took the brunt of the fire and water destruction. The eateries sustained more than $2 million worth of damages.
Following the blaze, both restaurants temporarily shut down for extensive repairs and renovations.
The Fish Market reopened in August 2015, and, after a seven-month-long closure, Top of the Market reopened on Dec. 17, 2015 with new, updated features.
The eatery is nestled along the San Diego Bay, near the USS Midway Museum, and is known for its scenic views.