Heartbreaking News For Barbecue Fans: Thelma's Gutted By Fire

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Thelma's, one of the city's most famous "unknown" barbecue joints, was apparently gutted by fire over the weekend.

We're told someone saw the fire engines out at the shack on Friday; another passer-by on Sunday says the place looked gutted.

We're sending someone out now to get photographic evidence and further information, but if you're making lunch plans you might have to adjust them.

Thelma's was (is?) an under-the-radar BBQ haven -- or at least it was until it was featured on a PBS show about best sandwiches in America, or some kind of list-y thing like that. Since then the crowds have gotten noticeably bigger.

Updates when they come in.

Update: From our man on the scene -- The front of Thelma's is its normal ramshackle self, and the house next door seems unscathed, but much of back is blackened. The kitchen area has been gutted. Everything is wet, presumably from the fire department's hoses, and the air is filled with regular fire smell and BBQ fire smell, making for a telling mix.

The photos:

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Further update:

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