The flames were largely under control by 11:30 a.m., Battalion Chief Jason McLain told reporters at the scene, but firefighters continued having to fight flames tucked away under the building’s roof that collapsed. Roswell Road remained closed until around 9 p.m.
Firefighters first left the scene just before 11 p.m. but were called back about an hour later to extinguish more smoldering debris. They didn’t leave again until around 12:20 a.m. Tuesday and were called back a second time just before 2:15 a.m. That time, they didn’t leave until about 4:20 a.m.
Then, about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, crews had to be dispatched again to extinguish hot spots.
McLain said crews on the second floor of a nearby fire station spotted the flames, called it in and began responding Monday morning.
When they arrived, they found fire coming from the back of the building, he said. On the inside, there was a “tremendous amount of fire” at the front of the structure. The building sustained major roof damage.
“It’s kind of the nature of a building like this — large building, a lot of heavy timber. Once the roof has come down, that’s created a whole other layer of burning debris,” McLain said Monday morning. “So we’ll just be battling that for quite a while.”
A high-rise apartment building and a commercial business next to the bar were evacuated as a precaution. No damage was reported.
With more than 50 firefighters battling the flames, the bulk of the fire was knocked down in about an hour, McLain said. Investigators are still working to determine where and how it originated. An update was not provided Tuesday morning.
“It will be under investigation for quite some time,” McLain said.