LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two restaurants in St. Matthews were destroyed by fire early Sunday morning, and now arson investigators are trying to figure out what happened.

The crackling of the 2-alarm fire could be heard from behind the buildings on Fairfax Avenue just off Shelbyville Road.

The heat gutted Super Chefs and Chef Maria's Greek Deli, and crews say the cold, windy weather slowed down their efforts.

"Something like this is pretty tragic,” said Skip Zoeller, who lives three blocks away.

"I ate there last week. The menu was great - kind of know the guy who owns it, he's a super nice guy. It breaks my heart, because I know he's worked real hard to do this."

Zoeller is talking about the owner of Super Chefs, Darnell Ferguson, who posted a picture on his Instagram following the fire saying, “Took the team out to breakfast this morning to make sure the devil wasn't winning … a little fire won't put out our faith."

Chef Maria's Greek Deli next door was also destroyed.

Maria Bell posted a picture of her restaurant saying, “Such a beautiful place all in flames, I lost my business, thank God nobody was inside."

MetroSafe says the call came in just after 4 a.m. Sunday. More than 55 firefighters responded, and some of them had to be evacuated when part of the building collapsed.

"You know, in the name of safety, we have to keep our firefighters outside for the moment until the main body of the fire could be knocked down."

The buildings will now be boarded up.

A cleanup crew says other nearby businesses like a Mexican restaurant and nail salon also had smoke and water damage.

"They actually made it out pretty lucky compared to what you see in front of us," said Derek Mills with ServPro.

Arson investigators will now try and figure out what happened and where the fire started.

A manager at Joella's Hot Chicken says they're participating in a donation program called "Apron" that helps the local restaurant community.

Joella's donated 10 percent of Sunday’s sales to help both restaurants rebuild.

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