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Forum Communications, Published December 29 2012

Fire causes major damage at Eveleth bar

EVELETH, Minn. - A fire extensively damaged a bar here Saturday, keeping crews on the scene all day long as they fought the stubborn blaze in the structure’s walls and attic.

The fire at Sleeve’s Sportsman’s Bar, 210 Grant Ave., was reported at about 9 a.m., Eveleth Fire Chief Peter Makowski said. The first firefighters on the scene found smoke coming from the south wall of the building.

“It was a very, very stubborn fire,” that kept crews busy into the evening, Makowski said. Personnel from seven departments — Eveleth, Fayal Township, Mountain Iron, Virginia, Gilbert, Biwabik Township and Clinton Township — responded to the scene.

There was an apartment above the bar, but no one was injured in the fire. Occupants of some neighboring buildings also were evacuated. There was some smoke and water damage to neighboring Snickers Pizza Shop, Makowski said, but crews were able to contain the flames to the Sportsman’s Bar building.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Makowski said. A state fire marshal was on the scene. An exact damage estimate was not available Saturday.

Makowski said the bar is a popular gathering place in the community.

“It’s a mainstay in Eveleth,” he said. “For many of us, it was a personal loss.”