CONCORD, N.C. — Firefighters are investigating after a popular restaurant was destroyed by a large fire early Wednesday morning.
According to the Concord Fire Department, crews were called to a reported fire at the Concord Diner on U.S. 29 around 5 a.m. Several passersby called to report they saw fire inside the building. When firefighters got to the restaurant, they saw heavy smoke and flames coming from the roof.
Video from the scene shows the building engulfed in flames with heavy smoke billowing out when firefighters arrived on the scene. The roof of the diner was destroyed by the flames. Officials on the scene didn't believe the building was a total loss but crews were unable to salvage the remains while getting hotspots under control.
"Another Concord landmark is gone, it's very devastating," Concord Resident, Cindy Kennedy said.
"I feel kind of sick about it because they're such good friends such good people," friend to the owners of Concord Diner, Craig Baisley said.
Many residents came by to watch the cleanup efforts and mourn over a community icon that's been in Concord for decades.
"Some people actually walked for about 10 to 11 miles just to come here for three or four hours, that's how much they loved this place," Concord Diner regular, Samuel Munday said.
There was a sense of loss, as the diner is now a pile of ash.
"The atmosphere was always lively, it was ... everyone actually cared about you," Munday said.
For Munday, seeing the restaurant in ruins hurts.
"I was here at least three times a week every week for a year, so it's sad to see it gone," Munday said.
Many people who stopped by raved about the desserts, especially the cheesecake.
"The cheesecakes sat out front they went around and around, there were so many different varieties and they're actually sitting out here unscathed so it's like the cheesecake has survived the massive fire," Kennedy said.
The fire marshal told WCNC Charlotte no one was inside at the time of the fire and there are no injuries related to the incident.
The owners did take to Facebook saying, "We want everyone to know that everyone is safe. We appreciate all your concern and prayers. Please keep Peter and Carrie and the staff in your thoughts and prayers."
A GoFundeMe account has been started to help the owners of the restaurant during this time. Click here for more information.
The fire was declared under control around 6:30 a.m. The cause remains under investigation.
Many Concord residents now look to the future.
"Hopefully they'll rebuild it and people come back and it's better than ever"," Baisley said.
"I would help rebuild this place if I could, I would love to see it back," Munday said.