A relatively new and popular bar-brewery burned Sunday morning in Waterloo, Ill.
Just before 8:00 a.m., the volunteer Waterloo Fire Department was called to Hopskellar Brewery on East 3rd Street. They found the building filled with smoke, and on fire.
Built more than a century ago, the original structure had been converted into a bar and dining area.
Additions to the building had been raised and housed a cooking area, restrooms, and the brewery itself.
According to the Waterloo Fire Chief, the fire appears to have started near the wood-fire brick oven.
Firefighters had a little trouble putting the fire out because of the drop ceiling that had been installed, leaving a space between the ceiling and the floor above it. They had to punch through the tin plating on the ceiling to get access to the open space.
The fire heavily damaged the add-on structure, especially above the kitchen area, causing the air conditioning unit to fall through the roof.
The damage according to the fire chief is extensive.
An employee with the company says the brewing equipment appears to have been spared damage and is hopeful they can get back to brewing in a week or so, once the damage is cleaned up.
The owner of the company was out of town Sunday, and was unreachable.
Plans for if the public bar portion of the building and the kitchen will reopen, and a timetable for that are not readily known at this time.