NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Just a week before one of their busiest holidays, a popular North Philadelphia bakery was heavily damaged in a fire.
The fire broke out around 2:40 a.m. Sunday at Denise's Delicacies in the 2900 block of North 22nd Street.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control within an hour but the damage is too severe for employees to go back to work.
"It doesn't quite hit me yet but I'm getting a lot of phone calls. We've been here a long time, great customers base, they love us, we love them," said Denise Gause.
Gause is heartbroken. Her business began in 1990 and it quickly established itself as a sweet spot with 26 employees.
On Sunday customers were shocked to learn what happened.
"What goes through my mind is where are we going to get our cookies, wedding cakes, the special birthday cakes we like?" said Mildred Davis.
"They've been here for years. I always come in and see Ms. T and buy my coffee and donuts out of there," said Christopher Johnson.
"It's going to hurt a lot of people, a lot of people come to buy from Denise and like I said it's really sad, that's why I had to come by and stop," said Roxanne Howzell.
Firefighters believe the fire started in the kitchen which is in the rear of the building.
The bakery was heading into their busiest season with Easter right around the corner.
"Mother's Day is one of our biggies. Needless to say we will not be celebrating either one. If we do rebuild, it's going to take a good while," said Gause.
The fire marshal spent most of the day at the scene but they still haven't determined a cause. Officials say it could take several days.
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