HAZELWOOD, Mo. — Authorities are investigating the cause of a massive fire that decimated a Hazelwood bar.
The fire at Bar 270 had firefighters working for hours on Saturday night.
Battalion Chief Dan Leichenauer, with the Hazelwood Fire Department, said no one was injured in the fire.
He said the only people in the building at the time were employees preparing to open up for the night.
According to Leichenauer, the fire started in the kitchen, and it took crews five hours to completely put it out.
"We were here from roughly 8 p.m. to 1:30, 2 o'clock in the morning," he said.
Leichenauer described Saturday as a "late night" for many across north St. Louis County.
"They had fire showing through here to the roof and heavy smoke, black smoke that was coming out all the doorways and windows," he said.
Daylight revealed the shattered windows, collapsed roof and soot that now took over Bar 270.
The fire the night before was so big, that according to Leichenauer, crews attempted to enter in the back of the building but pulled out because of the heavy fire and smoke conditions.
"I would expect the building is completely destroyed and most likely will have to be taken down," he said.
Leichenauer said that's because what they were dealing with 24 hours ago was so massive.
"We ended up setting up a defensive operation. We had multiple aerials. We had roughly 60 firefighters on scene," he said.
The sheer volume of the smoke coming from the bar almost covered Highway 270, according to Leichenauer.
"The smoke was not moving away from the area, was not going up in the air. It was just hanging," he said.
Leichenauer said that meant extra manpower was necessary.
"That's why we use mutual aid with everybody else from Florissant to Berkeley, Pattonville," he said.
Not everyone who came to help was there in uniform though.
Danny Cunningham, the president of St. Louis First Responder Canteen, had four volunteers on the scene.
"I don't know how many bags of ice and stuff they went through, to be honest. We just kept bringing it out and running to QuikTrip and picking up more," he said.
Cunningham's team provided the first responders with water, Gatorade and snacks, all things you won't find on fire department trucks.
"They've got a limited space, so they carry some basic water, maybe equivalent to a half a case of water, so when they run out, they run out," he said.
With cups still on the ground and pieces of the bar spread across the parking lot, the long night for many across North County proved to be a community effort.
"We love to hear the 'thank you' from the firefighters. That's why we keep doing what we do. I know last night there was departments from all over North County that were there as well. Seeing them all work together is amazing," Cunningham said.
"We always appreciate all the things they do for everybody. We have a lot of community support that comes out and takes care of us while we were out here on those long fires," Leichenauer said.
As for what's next for the business, code enforcement will now take over.
According to Leichenauer, code enforcement will work with the property owners and decide if the building is salvageable or needs to be taken down.
St. Louis First Responder Canteen is a nonprofit that relies on donations from the community to help first responders. You can donate to the nonprofit here.