WWMT Newschannel 3 :: Search Results
Sports bar in danger of collapsing after devastating fire, area shut down
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A west Michigan business is in danger of collapsing after a devastating fire tore through it Monday morning.
The fire happened at the On Deck Sports Bar and Grill in downtown Battle Creek.
Firefighters were on the scene for several hours fighting the flames after the roof collapsed.
All the flames are out but the danger remains.
The big concern is that this four-story building could collapse after the fire weakened the structure.
This has caused a big portion of West Michigan Avenue to be shut down and businesses have been forced to evacuate.
Crews were called out to the business around 4:30 a.m. to fight the flames and many other challenges.
"They ended up getting forced out of the structure because of the collapse," said Fire Inspector Lt. Quincy Jones of the Battle Creek Fire Department.
Lt. Jones said investigators believe the fire could have started on one of the upper floors.
It could have also been burning for several hours.
"The appearance factors of the roof collapsing, that definitely there was probably a significant time frame of this fire actually burning," Lt. Jones said.
Because the building could collapse, A Taste of India, a neighboring restaurant, was shut down Monday.
"Today they told us they can't open the building until they approve it," said Gurmohan Singh, who works at the Indian food restaurant.
Singh said they could be closed for the next several days.
"Were going to lose a lot of business. We have lots of New Years Eve reservations that we're going to have to call off. It's terrible to see a business like that go down. They invested a lot of money in it," Singh said.
On Deck Sports Bar and Grill had reopened its doors last month after some controversy.
In April, published reports say the sports bar closed down over allegations that the project was over budget and employees were not being paid.
Newschannel 3 talked to one of the owners on the phone Monday afternoon.
Rob Buckhannon said the past money problems had been settled and business was good.
Right now they're "in shock and extremely saddened".
It looks very nice. They had a new bar and a couple of meeting rooms and everything, Singh said.
Buckhannon said as far as they know, everything was fine when the bar was closed at midnight.
Its not yet known if the fire is suspicious.
"Because of the condition of the structure, there's not a whole lot we can do interior. So basically we will be taking a different stance in regards to our investigation," Lt. Jones said.
Lt. Jones said the building is condemned and will need to be brought down.
He said West Michigan Avenue could be closed down for several days.