Several businesses damaged in fire in north Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Investigators are working to figure out what caused a fire at a north Charlotte business early Thursday.

[IMAGES: Dozens of firefighters battle north Charlotte business fire]

Fire crews were called around 6:40 a.m. to the scene on Beatties Ford Road near LaSalle Street and found thick black smoking pouring out of the building.

Fire officials told Channel 9 that more than 40 firefighters were able to get the fire under control in about 30 minutes and no one was hurt.

Beatties Ford Road was shut down in both directions near LaSalle Street and crews were on scene for a while cleaning up and getting the smoke out of the building.

By the time the smoke cleared, the businesses housed in the building were black and broken.   
The brick building contained several established businesses, like a hair salon that's been around for 40 years.

Some people may recognize the building as the former home of Rudeans, a beloved restaurant that ultimately became a Charlotte institution. After nearly 60 years in businesses, Rudeans closed two years ago due to rising rent.

Neighbors hoped the heart and soul of the special place loved by hundreds would live on here, but after this morning's fire, they worry it's gone for good.

“We have to keep our heads up, eyes open and always prayerful,” neighbor Disharek McCoy said.

Representatives involved with the ownership group told Channel 9 it's still too soon to say what will happen next, but they are holding out hope.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.

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