Firefighters responded to a fire at Brookfield Place plaza in Waterboro around 10 a.m. Sunday.
There was so much damage that the cause of the fire, which destroyed the strip mall, may never be known.
Crews contained the blaze within an hour and a half. Fire Marshal Sgt. Scott Richardson says all indications are that the fire started in the area of the Asian Taste Restaurant, one of three businesses in the shopping complex, and quickly spread to the other businesses.
“No one was in the Asian Taste Restaurant at the time,” he says.
Richardson says the building was a total loss as well as everything in the building, including equipment and items to be sold. He says firefighters had to knock the sides of building down and get the roof off to put the fire out.
No patrons were injured in the blaze but a firefighter was treated for possible heat exhaustion.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.