Brentwood's , a building that has been a succession of bars since the 1920s, has seen its last St. Louis Blues game. It was destroyed by a three-alarm fire early this morning. There were no injuries.
Manager Kevin Gallagher said the alarm went off in his house around 4 a.m. When he arrived from his home in Maplewood there was only smoke. The was on the scene.
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Brentwood Fire Chief Ted Jury said he had no information about how it started. The St. Louis County Bomb and Arson Unit has been called to investigate, which he said is standard procedure.
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Jury said the first crews found heavy smoke over Manchester Road when they arrived. They went into the front door and found fire coming up one of the floor vents.
"The floor was getting spongy on them, which indicated the fire was below them," Jury said. "When that happens we pull them out immediately, because the floor will collapse, which it did."
At that point, all the firefighters could do is go into "defensive mode," Jury said. Firefighters set up around the building, waited for the fire to billow through and worked to put it out.
Brentwood had assistance from the Fergusson, Glendale, Ladue, Maplewood, Monarch, Richmond Heights, Webster Groves and University City fire departments.
The fire was finally out by 7 a.m.
Tirzah Droege, a co-owner, got a call from Gallagher and arrived about the same time. She said there's always a party there whenever there's a game, and she said there was one last night, for the Blues playoff game.
Joe Droege, also a owner, lives in Farmington, MO, and is on his way.
Neighbors with lots of memories of the bar gathered in the parking lot of , across the street.
Mary Engelhard Van Cleave was born in the second floor of the building in 1927. Her parents had bought it in 1926.
"A lot of these kids, their parents all came in all the time," she said. "Everybody knew everybody else. It was that kind of a tavern. I loved it."
She lived there until 1974.