CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Many locals describe Mac’s Drive In on Pendleton Road as a second home. But they said it was no one’s second home more than it was Ted Hunter Jr.’s. 

He was the owner of the popular drive-in for decades and was known and admired by many. The crowds of people that the food and atmosphere bring in daily speak for themselves.

“We live across the street from Mac’s Drive In, only been here for about a year and a half but already we can tell that the community is really strong, people are always coming in and out,” said Tessa Byer, neighbor.

The county coroner’s office reported Hunter’s death after a fire at his home on Pendleton Road Friday night, around 7:15 p.m. Residents said all of this came as a shock.

“Mac’s Drive In has been a part of my life since I was a little girl,” said Teresa McAbee Horton, a family friend.

For people like Horton, Mac’s is home to countless memories, all of which include Hunter.

“He’s a part of the Pendleton community and the Clemson community because if you go into Mac’s you see all the clips and paraphernalia and memorabilia and all the different coaches and athletes that have come through here and then of course they’ve always supported Pendleton High School too,” said Horton.

Byer said she’s seen this firsthand, watching the crowds of people gather at the restaurant every day.

“I think there’s just gonna be a lot of heartaches and a lot of reminiscing about what they meant to the community,” said Byer.

Residents said now they’re thinking of Hunter’s family, all of which had helped him bring the community together for so many years.

“It’s a loss, it’s a loss for all of us but that family is going to be lost without him,” said Horton.

The Clemson Police Department said there are no signs of foul play but their investigation is ongoing.

There’s no word yet on the cause of the fire.