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WHARTON, Texas – A popular restaurant in Wharton was damaged significantly by a fire Monday evening, according to investigators.

According to Michael Hinze, owner of Hinze's Bar-B-Q, the fire started during dinner hours in the back of the restaurant. There were customers inside and the blaze rushed to the front.

No one was hurt.

The Wharton Fire Department says "the damage to the restaurant is significant and a total loss."

The cause of the fire was unknown at the time. Investigators will return to the scene Tuesday morning.

Hinze's Bar-B-Q opened in 1973.

Hinze told KHOU 11 News he's concerned about the more than two dozen employees, friends, and family who work at the restaurant as they are now without jobs.

Raw Video: BBQ restaurant fire

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