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Businesses are picking up the pieces after a fire in Calabash

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CALABASH, NC (WWAY) -- Several business owners in Brunswick County are trying to figure out what they're going to do after an early morning fire destroyed a Calabash strip mall.

Firefighters said the flames started at 947 Bistro and Puband quickly spread to the other businesses. Firefighters say by the time they got there, it was too late.

Now the business owners and their workers are picking up the pieces. "Just come together as a family, and, you know, just sit here and talk about it and pray about it," Bobby Lucas a Head Hunter employee said.

Investigators say the fire started around 12:15 A.M. on Carter Drive. It destroyed Head Hunter Barber Shop, Reflections Stained Glass, Calabash Florist, and 947 Bistro and Pub.

The store owners have been there together for years. They say what happened breaks their hearts. "It's bad. There's a lot of years. I've been here 17 years, and the businesses around me not quite as long, but we've all become real good friends with each other, so we're going to miss it," Pati Lewellyn, owner of Reflections Stained Glass said.

Some owners are worries about what they will do next. Marco Rooks says he is already getting started on a new place. "We've got to get up and going. You know, this is how we live. This is the way we make our money, and if we're not behind that chair, we don't make anything. We just have to get back to work as quickly as possible. So we just don't have time to wait for any reconstruction or anything like that. We have to move on,"Head Hunter owner Rooks said.

Firefighters were on the scene for more than nine hours this morning to make sure the fire did not spark up again. Another store owner says it is an emotional day. She could not talk about it without crying.

There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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