PALOUSE, Wash. -- Flames Tuesday morning destroyed a bar in Downtown Palouse that was set for its grand opening.
Fire broke out about 4 a.m. in the building that housed the Brick Wall Bar & Grill on E. Main St., formerly known as the Palouse Tavern. When crews arrived, fire officials said heavy smoke could be seen coming from the southeast corner of the building. Smoke was heaviest on the second floor, according to the Palouse Fire Department.
PFD officials said the first crews sent inside the building were forced to back out due to high heat and low visibility. The fire was fought defensively from that point onward, said authorities. Crews from Pullman and Whitman County were called in to assist Palouse firefighters.
A builder told KREM 2 News the 100-year-old building had been under renovation for the past few months. The Brick Wall Bar & Grill had just opened the previous day and scheduled its official grand reopening for Tuesday night.
“[There was] a lot of excitement about having this place in town so it’s gonna be a tough blow for the community,” said Palouse Fire Chief Mike Bagott.
Bagott added it was too early to know what caused the fire.
There were no reports of injuries.
Crews expected to be on scene throughout the morning to put out hotspots and continue their investigation. In the meantime, crews shut down streets Downtown. Drivers were advised to stay out of the area.