BALTIMORE - Siding is flapping in the breeze. Emotions are unsteady.
"I've just been here since I was 15, 15 years old," said Michael Ruby, who worked at Three Brothers liquor store most of his life.
Ruby is now 57. Three Brothers is like family. The manager was the last to leave around 8 p.m. Friday.
"The fire was in the back, and the fire department was here. And when I went out the door, because I was the last one out, the smoke came barreling up from here going back and by the time I got out the door it was right behind me coming over my head," said Ruby.
That thick smoke was overhead all night. It traveled from the 3100 block of Frederick Avenue in Southwest Baltimore.
The four-alarm fire brought about 100 firefighters to the scene and many worked there all night. It took 14 hours to the put out the flames.
"That was probably the main challenge - low water pressure. And also units responded on the fourth alarm because we have Frederick Ave. bridge closed down here," said Deputy Chief Shawn Belton, Baltimore City Office of the Fire Marshal.
On Saturday morning, police arson investigators captured evidence. A water hose was still working the hot spots. But the fire burned through the roof, which partially collapsed. There is also a hair salon, a tattoo parlor, a pharmacy and a laundromat.
One of the original three brothers says the family has invested $4 million over the years. They don't know yet if they'll be able to rebuild.
There's talk about getting a trailer on the property, but more than a dozen employees in the liquor store alone are without a job.
"Somebody said something about we can claim unemployment," said Ruby.
The realities are setting in, not just the money but the memories.
"It's been my life. It's been everything. That's all I know is business," said Ruby.
No one was injured in the fire. On Sunday, the ATF is expected back out to help Baltimore police arson investigators to determine the cause.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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