A decades-old business in downtown Stuart may be a total loss after a fire ripped through the store around 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Nobile Shoes is a specialty shoe shop that has been along Colorado Avenue near US 1 for nearly 30 years.
Stuart police were the first on scene, evacuating customers and nearby businesses. The gas pumps at the nearby 7-Eleven were also turned off.
Martin County fire crews spent nearly three hours putting out the flames.
By late Wednesday night, crews were still spraying water on potential hot spots and cleaning up the scene.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Owner, Daniel Nobile says he was working when the fire started.
“I was taking care of some patients in my medical section and we heard a scream from our front counter,” Nobile said.
He found the flames growing near the repair section of the store, filled with flammable items.
He tried to put their out with an extinguisher with no success. His son tried to stomp out the fire, but was sent to the hospital with burns.
“He was wearing shorts, unfortunately, so he had some first and second degree burns on his legs, but he’ll be fine.“
Nobile watched fire crews try to save his store and the merchandise inside.
“It’s painful, it’s 29 years of hard work,” Nobile said.
The fire marshal says the investigation into what caused the fire will begin Thursday morning.
Nobile will post updates on his social media page to let his customers know his plans moving forward.
“We’ll be back, right now we've got to pick up the pieces and figure it out,” said Nobile.