Community mourns the loss of Cavalier Bar following devastating fire

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CORUNNA, Michigan (WJRT) - (07/11/2018) - A popular watering hole in the heart of downtown Corunna is no more, after a fast moving fire destroys two buildings.

One of the buildings, the Cavalier Bar, has served the community at the corner of North Shiawassee and East McArthur for decades.

Michigan State Police say they're still investigating the cause, but it does not appear to be suspicious at this time.

Corunna-Caledonia Fire Chief Scott Johnson told us the call came in as a window air- conditioning unit on the second floor on fire.

Crews have put up fencing and re-opened the road late Wednesday night.

We spoke with a young man who was among the first to see the smoke pouring out the building, capturing video on his phone.

"We were going to play Pokemon Go," said Kyle McPherson,"hitting PokeStops, but then we saw the Cavalier Bar, it was on fire."

The 11-year old couldn't believe what he was seeing while out playing Pokemon Go Wednesday afternoon.

He said the the thoughts running through his mind hoping that everyone got out safely.

"Let's just hope everything will turn out alright," he recalled, "but as you can see it didn't, everything turned to rubble."

The call came in shortly after one o'clock.

Corunna-Caledonia Fire Chief Scott Johnson said when he arrived on scene fire was shooting out of the windows and the roof.

“We’ve had the front wall collapse right off the get-go from the bar," he said, "when we started initial attack on it, we’ve had the wall collapse between the bar and the south building."

Johnson said nobody was inside, "We pulled everybody out, this one got away from us way too fast.”

"We contained it to the bar," he said,"the building is totally lost. The building next to it, the small building , that has collapsed from the bar wall."

The apartments above the Cavalier bar were also destroyed.

Thankfully no one was injured in the fire. However two fire fighters were taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion.

Bar manager Kathy Bonnin said she had just left work on Wednesday around noon, when she got a phone call:

"The day bartender came in," Bonnin explained, "she called me and said 'the bar's on fire'".

No word on if the bar will be rebuilt. Corunna resident Amy Mort said the Cavalier has served as a popular gathering place for locals.

"It's a close personal friend of mine that owns it, so she' s in my heart and in my mind, very sad day for this community," Mort said.

The last time downtown Corunna has seen a major fire was 1988.

That fire, however, was much larger, taking out a big block that is now the City Center.

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