Fire destroyed a long time standing downtown Bruce bar late Thursday, May 5.
Six area fire departments battled the blazing fire for four and half hours, at the Pour House, working to put the fire out before it spread to nearby businesses.
The Pour House is owned by Jeff and Kim Grasley, who have owned the building for eight years, and is located at 626 Main St., Bruce.
According to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department, Rusk County Dispatch received a 911 call at 11:09 p.m. reporting the building was on fire. The caller reported all of the patrons had been evacuated to safety out of the building.
Due to the fire, the building is a total loss.
Bruce Fire Department Chief Junior Baker said about 50 firefighters from six fire departments fought to put the fire out at the Pour House. The departments involved include Bruce Fire Department, Cornell Fire Department, Exeland Fire Department, Ladysmith Fire Department, Sheldon Fire Department and Weyerhaeuser Fire Department.
Baker arrived to the fire to find the Pour House fully engulfed.
The additional support from the six fire departments was for tankers to support four pumpers. Exeland, Cornell and Sheldon supplied two tankers each.
Baker said the cause of the fire was from grease blowing up in the kitchen area of the business.
According to Baker, the Pour House building was moved in 1922 from down the block. When it was moved, additions were added. Baker said the additions built onto the building, including a roof and ceiling, made the fire more difficult to extinguish. The additions created spaces in the building where the fire became trapped.
“It was a hard one to fight,” said Baker.
Bruce resident Mike Newman called the fire a “big loss to our small town.”
Razors Edge owner Tanya Opsal received a call from the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office to notify her that a fire was close to her shop on Main Street.
“I was asked to come to Bruce immediately. I was only a 9-mile drive but it felt much longer as I wondered what I’d find upon arriving,” said Opsal.
Opsal said she felt relieved it wasn’t very close to her shop yet, but she was concerned about how the Grasley’s were feeling. When she arrived to the scene, Opsal found the Grasley’s, who are family members, to help support them.
“Jeff and Kim shared memories with us and shared what items were inside that they hoped would survive the fire. Items of sentimental value mostly,” said Opsal.
Together they stood watching he fire for an hour as the firefighters fought, what Opsal called, a loosing battle. “It was hard to see the look on their faces and to hear the pain in their voices,” said Opsal.
According to Opsal, the firefighters worked cohesively and it was quite the thing to witness, she added, “we are extremely blessed to have such dedicated and hard worker people protecting and fighting for our homes and businesses.”
The Grasley’s were unavailable for comment.