Firefighters responded to the blaze at 6811 E Cave Creek Rd. around 9:30 a.m.. Captain Aaron Ernsberger of the Phoenix Fire Department said crews continued to drown out hotspots late into the morning, calling the saloon “a total loss at this point.”
About 25 trucks and 100 firefighters battled flames that engulfed the restaurant and dance hall, part of cluster of Western bars and shops that line the town’s historic main drag. Ernsberger said there were no serious injuries.
“It’s a huge loss and a big blow to the community around here,” he said, as the building smouldered.
The bar, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2011, had planned to host a Thanksgiving feast and gathering for Green Bay Packers fans today.
Bill Mulliniks, a regular at the saloon for more than 25 years, watched the plume of dark smoke from outside his home in nearby Carefree. He said he the bar was a gathering place for residents and visitors of all sorts, whether they arrived on a horse or motorcycle.
“It was a landmark and obviously it’s well known throughout the Valley,” Mulliniks said, describing the barbecue menu and Western bands. “It was always entertaining, always a good time.”
— Tara Swingler Smith (@techbuzzin1st) November 26, 2015
BREAKING NEWS: Buffalo Chip in Cave Creek is On Fire! Not the Thanksgiving treat one would wish for. pic.twitter.com/6Drlj2iBbO
— StanleyFosha (@stanleyfosha) November 26, 2015
Buffalo chip is burning down. pic.twitter.com/RVrYjji4py
— John James (@jjhitman77) November 26, 2015
— Kim Pravlis Prince (@ProvenMedia) November 26, 2015