GREENSBORO, NC (WFMY) — Crews are investigating a fire they believe was intentionally set at a popular restaurant in Greensboro.
The fire happened at the Brass Taps Bar and Grille on Battleground Avenue early Friday morning.
The Greensboro Fire Department tweeted pictures of smoke shooting into the sky.
Firefighters don’t know the cause of the fire but investigators say have reason to believe it was arson.
It could take several days for investigators to find the answers they need to solve the case.
But it could take a lot longer before the restaurant is able to re-open.
Shattered glass, torched brick, and melted debris covers the front and back side of the building.
Odis Alexiou has owned the building and the surrounding complex since the 1970s.
“It’s been in the family for about 40 years now,” said Alexiou. “It hurts when something happens to something like that.”
The building was condemned for safety reasons as crews combed through the building for evidence.
Greensboro Fire Marshal Timothy Henshaw says they’re investigating several arson cases across the city right now.
But they’re having trouble linking the crimes them together.
Henshaw says by the time crews arrive, most of their evidence is destroyed by the fire.
“Once the fire has occurred, that evidence is being consumed and it limits our ability to review it, investigate it, take it back to a laboratory,” said Henshaw. “It’s gone.”
Alexiou says he’ll do what he can to help the investigation.
“If I knew who it was, I would trot them down to the police department and get them arrested,” Alexiou joked.
But right now, his focus is on rebuilding.
“It’s just a way of life. One thing happens and you take care of it,” said Alexiou. “Go ahead and move on.”
The building is not a total loss.
Alexiou hopes it will be re-opened in about three or four weeks.
They’re working with insurance adjustors now to figure out how to pay for everything.
Nobody was hurt in the incident.
Officials say nobody inside the building at the time of the fire.