Montana Public Radio

Fire Guts Historic Butte Building

Jan 23, 2020

A fire broke out early Thursday morning in Uptown Butte, gutting a historic building and ravaging several businesses. 

The air smelled acrid with smoke and there was broken glass strewn across the sidewalk this morning at the corner of East Galena and Main Street in Uptown Butte.

While the historic two story brick structure housing the Irish Times bar, the Post bar, and Muddy Creek Brewery is still standing.

"Really, the common attic space, the fire just ran the length of the building and so it pretty much destroyed everything on the second floor," said Butte-Silver Bow fire chief Jeff Miller. "And what didn’t get destroyed by the fire and the roof collapse, the water down below, so it’s a substantial loss here." 

Miller says the fire department got the call just before 3 AM, and firefighters tried to launch an interior attack. But because of the fire’s intensity, it was unsafe to be inside, and the crew pivoted to spraying large volumes of water on it from the exterior. It took about 4 hours to get the fire under control. No one was injured.

"It’s terrible, it’s a very nice old building. Big part of Butte’s history, you know?" Miller said. According to The Montana Standard newspaper, the building was originally built in 1922 to house the Butte Daily Post, where it was published for more than a quarter century.

Butte’s fire department says they are requesting the state fire marshal’s assistance to investigate the cause of the blaze.