Dear readers, three hardworking folks who are a part of the St. Louis restaurant industry need your help. In a story published Saturday night, restaurant writer for the Riverfront Times, Cheryl Baehr posted a story about a Saturday afternoon fire that tore through three homes in the city’s Ellendale neighborhood.
Of the three houses involved in the blaze, one was owned by Harrison Massie, general manager of the popular south city bar Small Change (2800 Indiana Avenue). Massie lived at the house with his wife, Sandra Manzoni and their friend, Eli Chang. Manzoni is also an employee of Small Change, while Chang works for the bar’s sister concept, Planter’s House.
According to KMOV, which first reported the news, the fire broke out at approximately 1 p.m., beginning in one home and spreading to two others; one of the houses was vacant, one was occupied by Massie, Manzoni and Chang, and the other was occupied by an unidentified man. Both of the occupied homes were completely destroyed.
Baehr says Jamie Kilgore, co-owner of Planter’s House and Small Change, confirmed the reported account. In an interview with the Riverfront Times, Kilgore says:
It was Massie’s house that caught fire first, though the cause of the blaze is unknown. She us unclear where Massie was at the time the fire started but says that Manzoni was in the shower and got out when she smelled smoke. Both escaped without physical injuries. Chang was out for a run at the time and arrived on the scene as his housemates were escaping. Kilgore also notes that the friends have several rescue cats that are currently missing.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Chang, Manzoni and Massie by their former coworker and friend Nicki Ball.