CATONSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A massive three-alarm fire ripped through a popular restaurant in Catonsville Friday afternoon, leaving behind significant damage.

The fire broke out at Loafers Sports Bar and Grill the 6500 block of Baltimore National Pike around 3 p.m.

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Officials reported heavy black smoke coming from the building with fire showing.

One restaurant patron named Dion said he was inside when other customers first smelled smoke.

“My friends walked around to scan the place out. We couldn’t find anything going on and I came outside to scan the perimeter and I went back in and we still couldn’t find what was going on and then another one of my friends came in and said, ‘Hey! the roof is on fire,'” he said.

Video Courtesy: Kevin Gillis

The fire began as a two-alarm call but quickly became a three-alarm blaze.

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Firefighters began an aggressive interior attack and had been making progress but were later forced to retreated to the exterior of the building, Baltimore County Fire Department’s Nick Tyson said.

“A third alarm was requested by command. That’s when crews were ordered out of the building and they evacuated and they went to fight the fire in a defensive mode which means they were fighting the fire from the outside,” he said.

Drone 13 shows what’s left of Loafers Sports Bar and Grill after a three-alarm fire Friday afternoon.

While firefighters battled the blaze, employees fought back tears.

Three firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion.

Perhaps the only things saved from the fire were the owner’s goldfish, which he said his grandchildren enjoy looking at when they visit.

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The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No civilian injuries were reported.