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Spontaneous Combustion Causes Bar Fire

Updated: Wednesday, July 23 2014, 06:38 PM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--Owners of a popular nightspot still are accessing damages from an early morning fire.

Fire fighters battled a four-alarm blaze at Chrome Horse Saloon and Slop House at about 1:30 Wednesday morning.

They say the fire caused significant smoke, heat and fire damage to the first and second floor of the building.

First there was one, then four.

A four alarm fire, bringing multiple units of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department to the Chrome Horse Saloon and Slop House.

"It's been years since that many firefighters have been deployed to a particular scene. In fact all of the fire equipment and on duty firefighters were deployed,” said Cedar Rapids Public Safety Coordinator, Greg Buelow.

It all began inside a bucket the Chrome Horse kitchen.

"It started in the kitchen. In a plastic bucket that contained rags or towels that more than likely contained animal fats,” Buelow said.

He says those rags or towels eventually generated enough heat that then led to a full blown fire, a process known as spontaneous combustion.

"One of the ways it can be prevented is to put oily rags or aprons of grease, not bunch them together and put them in something,” he said.

He says rags should be placed in a metal container with a lid, a lesson learned the hard way for the folks at Chrome Horse.

"Oh it's just smoke damage throughout, obviously water damage from the hoses and the firemen. The kitchen is just completely, it's pretty well gutted,” Chrome Horse General Manager, Derek Collins said.

It's a devastating scene for many who've hung out here.

"Jeez I hope they open up soon. I've got some friends and bartenders and servers that actually work here too so they kind of like out of job right now,” said Jake Nichols, a Chrome Horse regular, but like back in 2008, the hope is to rise again.

"We have a great thriving business. It's a beautiful area. It's up and coming. It's the Newbo District, we were Newbo before it was all Newbo,” Collins said.

The owners here say they won't hear from their insurance agents about the extent of the damage until sometime on Thursday.
Spontaneous Combustion Causes Bar Fire

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