"It's sad, poor Mr. Watts is turning in his grave right now," said employee Christine Kray. "He worked so hard for this place."
The club more commonly known as Watts burned for hours Wednesday morning. Materials inside an adjoining nail salon only made the blaze more intense.
Bright flames shot from the roof, thick black smoke darkened the morning sky. Fire consumed the front of the buildings so crews couldn't check inside for victims and when they finally opened a side door, they couldn't get in.
"We're so close with each other, so, so close," said Kray. "It's a sad day in this neighborhood."
Cortez Epps has been working the stage at Watts for years and although some may question his chosen occupation, he says Watts Club Mozambique has saved many lives.
"For a lot of these other individuals, young men that are trying to stay off the street, they come here they perform, they give their all to the stage and to the audience and for them not to have an income, what does that lead them to," asked Cortez Epps an exotic male entertainer.
There is a twist to this story. On Saturday, there was a fatal shooting here at Watts Club and that will play a role in the investigation. The arson squad is trying to determine what caused the fire.