SMITHTON, ILL. - A Smithton, Illinois, bar that has been open for nearly 30 years had to be torn down after a fire that started in the kitchen Thursday evening.
A spokesperson for the Belleville Fire Department said Mueth's Tavern erupted in an third-alarm blaze a little before 5 p.m. Thursday. The Smithton Fire Department was the main agency working the fire, but four or five departments were on the scene.
The Smithton Mayor Ray Klein said the bar was housed in a building that dates back to the 1870s. He said the fire started in the kitchen. A cook lit the stove, left for a short time to go to the bar then returned to discover the fire.
There were patrons were inside when the fire started, and a Smithton firefighter was injured.
The building had to be torn down.