A fire at quickly went from a smoky inferno to an all-out blaze Sunday night.
Wyandotte Fire Chief Jeff Carley said the building is a complete loss. The fire raged for hours until only a couple of hot spots were left at about 1 a.m. While some neighboring departments that came in to help were preparing to call it a night, Carley said, some crews would remain till daybreak.
No injuries were reported. Emergency responders even rescued a cat that had been stuck for hours inside a loft in an adjacent building.
Emergency crews evacuated residents in nearby buildings.
Shane Pett lives in a loft in a nearby building and was allowed back into his place to grab some personal items.
"It does smell like smoke really bad in there," he said. "That’s kinda why I don’t want to sleep there tonight. ... The power's out, too, and they said it wouldn't be back on till midday tomorrow."
Biddle Avenue was closed between Chestnut and Eureka and wasn't expected to reopen anytime soon, Carley said early Monday morning.
While the fire ended up being massive, it started quite innocently. Plumes of smoke filled LTB's at about 7 p.m., forcing about 20 customers to exit the bar.
"It got really smoky and they told us to leave," Angela Fisher of Trenton said. "We didn’t see any flames or anything like that, but there was tons of smoke."
An employee told customers that it's believed the fire started in the bar's beer room, near the back of the building.
Flames quickly overtook the bar as onlookers gathered outside.
Natalie Rankine, director of , was in tears.
"When I got here, it didn’t seem that bad," she said. "But now? ... It's heartbreaking."
The called off-duty firefighters in to help battle the blaze. Other departments also were called in to assist, including Allen Park, Brownstown Township, Lincoln Park, Riverview, Rockwood, Southgate and Trenton.
"Half of Downriver is here tonight," Carley said.
to pump water from the Detroit River onto the blaze.
Brownstown firefighters also used hoses to pump in water from the Detroit River to battle the blaze from the rear of the building.
Though the fire was contained to Lions & Tigers & Beers, some neighboring businesses were affected by smoke and water damage. The extent of the impact on the surrounding area is not yet clear.
"All my merchandise is a total loss," said David Hall, owner of .
The size of the fire—people reported seeing it in nearby towns such as Lincoln Park—and the popularity of the bar elicited sadness and concern on social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
Tom Faryniarz came down to help put up police tape.
"I was down here, thought I should come help," Faryniarz said. "The building looks like a total loss."
Parts of Wyandotte lost power periodically because of the fire, but power was restored except for the one block of Biddle where the fire was still burning.
If you have photos from the fire, you can add them at the link above.