Backed by the slogan Simply Save Simon, area residents are coming together to help lift up the owners of the popular Simple Simon’s Pizza franchise in Glen Rose after it was struck by a fire two days in a row last week.
Simple Simon’s, located at 801 NE Big Bend Trail, was left with heavy damage.
Mark Crawford, fire chief of the Somervell County Fire Department, said on Tuesday that the cause of the fires is still “undetermined.”
"It’s still being investigated,” Crawford stated, declining any other comments including an estimate of how long the investigation could take.
At least three local businesses are combining to help raise funds to assist the owners of the local pizza franchise, Jesse and Jaime McClure.
The first 911 call to the location came in to the county’s emergency dispatch at about 6 a.m. Thursday. Crawford, posting on the SCFD Facebook page afterward, described it as a heavy fire in the kitchen area of the building.
Friday’s 911 fire call to the same location was received at about 5 a.m., according to Crawford. Although Crawford would not comment, the fire appeared to have caused extensive internal damage throughout the brick and metal structure, which reportedly is about 1,400 square feet.
No injuries were reported from either incident.
The building and the lot it’s located on reportedly are not owned by the McClures.
Tamra Black, the mother of one of the Simple Simon’s employees, noted that there is a Go Fund Me fundraising page titled “Simply Saving Simon.”
The eight employees — all high school students — are putting together a spaghetti supper to help the McClures, Black said.
Black said that the spaghetti supper will be 5-7 p.m. on July 21 in the Glen Rose High School auditorium. The cost — including a salad, dessert and a drink — will be $10, and $5 for children age 5 and under.
Also that evening, there will be a silent auction from 5-6:30 p.m., and a live auction starting at 7 p.m. All of the proceeds will go to the McClures, White said.
The new owners of Chachi’s Mexican Restaurant in Glen Rose are staging a fundraiser today (Friday) and Saturday, June 23. The $8.95 buffet will be open from 5-9 p.m. both nights, and 10 percent of the restaurant’s total sales both days will be presented to the McClures.
Rosa Matheny said that she and her husband bought Chachi’s from the previous owner in May. Matheny said she had been an employee there for “20-plus years” and added that she and her husband have known the McClures “since we were kids in school.”
“I’ve lived here 41 years and my husband has been here since the third grade, and we knew them,” Matheny said. “We’re just excited we’re going to be able to do something to help them out. I know if we were in the same position, they would probably do that for us.
“Basically, it’s one family to another. Glen Rose is always ready to lend a hand and help a neighbor. (The fire) is just heartbreaking. We thought, ‘That could be us.’"
Another fundraiser for the McClures is being handled by a relatively new Glen Rose business called Twenty-nine:Eleven T’s, offering “Simply Save Simon” T-shirts for sale. On the other side of the T-shirt is the phrase, “#savethecalizone.”
A Facebook post states that “A percentage of all (T-shirt) proceeds will be presented to (the McClures) at the July fundraising event. You can purchase the shirts through our website at twenty-nine11tees.com or through Tamra Black. If you have questions please feel free to PM us or contact us at 254-396-6621.”
Youth sizes are $15. Adult sizes small-extra large are $17. Both 2XL and 3XL are $20, according to that Facebook post.