The News and Observer
April 20th, 2016

Members of the Bullock family worked to put back together one of Durham’s oldest restaurants after a kitchen fire Wednesday.

Firefighters sent to Bullock’s Bar-B-Que at 3330 Quebec Drive around 7 a.m. found heavy fire in the roof of the one-story building that has housed the 64-year-old restaurant since 1970.

A fire in the cooking hood was quickly extinguished, with fire damage confined to the roof and hood ductwork. The interior of the restaurant sustained water damage, according to the fire department. Twenty-nine firefighters responded to the call and were on the scene for about an hour and 15 minutes.

No one was injured.

An employee was cooking vegetables on a four-burner stove when the fire started, said Tommy Bullock, president of the restaurant.

At about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Bullock’s glass front door was smashed. Water covered some of the kitchen floor and soaked some of the dining room carpet. Contractors removed food from the restaurant to store in a portable refrigerator.

The Bullocks said they are thankful the fire didn’t reach their wall of fame, covered with autographed photographs of celebrities who have eaten at Bullock’s, known for its sweet and vinegary sliced barbecue.

“They are priceless,” vice president Ty Bullock said of the photos that include Lucille Ball, David Letterman, Burt Reynolds, Robert Duvall and Kenny Rogers.

The Bullocks hope to reopen in a few days.

“We’d like to express our gratitude to the first responders,” Ty Bullock said. “They did an excellent job of saving our business.”