"It's been our life for 42 years... it's just gone."
Phil Mark watches the restaurant his parents opened 43 years ago, and the restaurant he and other family members now own, burn to the ground.
He got a call early this morning after a friend saw the report on the news. When he got there, fire officials were working to put it out. That happened in about an hour.
But it was too late.
The fire destroyed the building. And some who saw it were in shock, even as the morning wore on.
"It was the freakiest thing I've ever seen. It was heroin. I could not believe it," says Adrian Nichols.
Nichols was staying at the motel next door. Thing is, the buildings are only about two feet away. So fire officials were very worried the fire would carry over. They say thanks to the wind direction, that didn't happen.
The aftermath. Fire investigators are combing through what's left of this neighborhood restaurant, but even so, may not be able to determine a cause.
"Due to the severity of the fire...I don't know if we're going to come up with a try cause or not," says the Niles Township Fire Chief, Gary Brovold.
Fire officials are asking the question...how?
Restaurant owners are asking the question...why?
And community members are asking the question...will they reopen?