WHARTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A historic Texas barbecue restaurant burned down Monday night after a pit fire got out of control.

Hinze’s Bar-B-Q in Wharton went up in flames just before the dinner rush. The restaurant has been a roadside staple on U.S. Highway 59 for more than 40 years.

The Wharton fire chief says a grease fire started in a barbecue pit behind the restaurant. He says it spread to flammable liquids in the kitchen area.

A Wharton County constable says at least 70 first responders from multiple departments worked to extinguish the fire. He says smoke could be seen from 12 miles away.

No injuries were reported.

An employee says the owners are working with their insurance company and will likely rebuild from scratch.

The original founder, W.C. Hinze, has since passed away, but the restaurant is still operated by four of his children and his wife, Rosemary.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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