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      North Myrtle Beach restaurant destroyed by fire

      Emergency crews on the scene of Wednesday night's fire at the Bar-Be-Que House./George Ramos

      "It's a total loss," North Myrtle Beach city spokesman Pat Dowling says about the Bar-B-Que House at 1561 Highway 17 North. The restaurant caught fire Wednesday night.

      North Myrtle Beach crews responded to the call around 10 p.m.

      The Bar-B-Que House was one story high, and at one point, Dowling says, crews on the scene told him flames were shooting 25 to 30 feet into the air.

      The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

      Thursday morning, owner Scott Rudolph returned to the scene to meet with investigators and survey the damage.

      He told us, "It's blood sweat and tears. We've had a lot of people put their heart and soul, and a lot of work people who worked here were like family. It's horrible, but fortunately no one got hurt."

      Rudolph said they had closed the restaurant around 8:30 Wednesday night. He was at a Christmas party for the BBQ House restaurant he owns in Surfside Beach when he got the call about the fire.

      Rudolph said 15 people worked at the North Myrtle Beach restaurant.