Massive fire destroys bar in Priest River - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Massive fire destroys bar in Priest River

PRIEST RIVER, Idaho - A major fire destroyed Popeye's bar in Priest River, Idaho. People that came out to watch the fire Thursday night said it was like watching a fireworks show. "As we pulled in we saw flames just everywhere," said Wendy Malnar "It was glowing, I mean from the roof a big plume as big as the building going up into the sky," said Rick Malnar. "It was amazing. Smoke and flames and just unbelievable."

Firefighters say it started shortly before midnight. The bar had closed a couple hours earlier so no one was inside. Priest River Fire chief Les Kokanos says he believes the fire started somewhere in the back of the building where the bar and storage rooms were located. He doesn't believe the fire is suspicious but fire investigators are out to make sure.

Twenty-eight firefighters were on scene. They were able to keep the fire from spreading to other buildings close by. "We're very thankful," said Rick Malnar, owner of AJ's Café next door. "I mean it's a vinyl sided building and it didn't even melt."

Before the fire, the historical building had been a fixture of the community since 1907, and Popeye's Bar inside was the place for everyone in town to hang out.

"We all hang out there," said Wendy Malnar. "Music and lots of great memories there, so that will definitely be missed."

The owner of Popeye's Bar said that he is still in shock from the fire and hopes to rebuild once all the smoke clears.

Past  fires in North Idaho:

 

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