Charleston fire chief calls Mother’s Bar a ‘total loss’

Mike Santoria, Campus Reporter

The second floor of Mother’s Bar at 506 Monroe Ave. was completely burned away after last week’s fire, making the building a total loss, Charleston Fire Chief Steve Bennett said.

Located next to Mother’s on Monroe, another bar in the Charleston Square, Mike and Stan’s, sustained both smoke and water damage but will be able to reopen at some point.

Bennett said the property owners are still working with insurance and adjusters and only they know for sure if Mother’s will ever make a comeback.

Eight people were displaced from their homes during the fire, which occurred 1:46 a.m. Friday morning.

No firefighter or civilian injuries were reported.

The displaced residents are being assisted by the Red Cross.

Photo courtesy of Anthony Livingston via Facebook
A picture of the damage done to Mother’s bar because of the fire.

“As far as the apartments, (the tenants) will not be able to live in the same place,” Bennett said. “Red Cross is able to find them temporary housing, give them hotel vouchers and think of more ways to assist. They’re a big help and they always come out to help in situations like these.”

The fire caused the second floor of the building to collapse, causing extensive damage to it, according to a press release.

The Charleston Fire Department controlled the fire, but assisting them was the Mattoon Fire Department, which provided two ladder  trucks to the scene.

Bennett said one of the ladders was used to rescue the two people trapped on the roof of the burning building.

All EMS calls were taken by the Mitchell-Jerdan Ambulance.

The Ashmore Fire Department arrived and stood by the station in case another fire happened throughout the night.

“All of the other fire departments worked well together,” Bennett said. “The city departments worked so well together, too.”

Bennett said the building department, public works and water department in Charleston worked cohesively to maintain the fire from spreading. He said the fire department had an amazing supply of water to battle the fire.

If they did not have that water supply, the department would have had bigger issues, Bennett said.

“Everything went really well,” Bennett said. “When you have an older building, you have to worry about getting residents out and the potential collapse of the building. As soon as we knew everyone was out of the building, I noticed the fire was at an unsafe point for my guys to be in there, so I pulled out two of them and we went to more of a defensive tactic, where we used water from the outside.”

Bennett said the fire departments on the scene were worried that another apartment building on Sixth Street would be hit, but they prevented that from happening because of the preparations involved.

“It’s not something we do every day,” Bennett said. “But this is what we train for, we put in extra training in the things we don’t do often.”

Mike Santoria can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].