ROCK HILL, S.C. - An early morning fire Thursday destroyed a business in Rock Hill. Flames engulfed the McDonald's on East Main Street. Firefighters were called to the restaurant at a little before 3:30 a.m. The drive-thru window was open and employees were the ones who called 911. Firefighters say the workers smelled smoke.
Firefighters worked through the early morning hours and into the daylight. They brought in a track hoe to tear the building apart so they could get rid of smoldering, hot spots.
"It also aids the investigators getting to the origin and cause of the fire," Rusty Myers, with the Rock Hill Fire Department, said.
By breakfast time, customers were already starting to show up at the fast-food restaurant. What they saw surprised many of them.
"Oh it's sad," Wayne Bailey said. "It's terrible."
Bailey brings his family to McDonald's about once a week. They hope that the restaurant will be rebuilt, a feeling shared by many customers in Rock Hill.
"That was a good store," Ray McCrorey said. "We came here and ate a lot."
McCrorey used to work at the restaurant years ago. He's troubled by the sight of the workplace burnt to the ground.
"Definitely sad," McCrorey said.
No one was injured by the flames. Still, customers are worried about the people who served them, especially during the holidays.
"Everybody needs a job," Bailey said. "I hope they get a job real quick."