UPDATED: Officials investigate Delavan bar fire

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Shelly Birkelo
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

— Thick smoke billowing from fire at Mulligan's Pub & Dining, 1318 Racine St., spread across the north side of Delavan two hours after the fire was reported at 5:30 a.m.

“It's choking me,” said Nancy Heeringa, who was working three blocks away as Walworth County district manager for The Gazette. “It's very, very smoky.”

“You can hardly see the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles up there,” she said.

The cause of the fire was not clear this morning.

Delavan Assistant Fire Chief Tim O'Neill said the owner of the bar reported fire in the basement.

When firefighters arrived, they blew high-expansion foam, but the floor already was compromised in two places, O'Neill said, adding that firefighters were then ordered out as the fire spread to the roof.

The flames caused major damage to the basement and moderate to severe damage to everything else, he said.

Nobody was hurt in the three-alarm fire, O'Neill said.

The Walworth County Fire Investigation Task Force responded, and the state Fire Marshal's Office was on its way, he said.

Emergency crews from Delavan, town of Delavan, Walworth, Elkhorn, Fontana, Williams Bay, Darien, Elkhorn and Walworth initially were called to the scene. Additional help was requested at 6:20 a.m. from Sharon, Lake Geneva and the town of Linn. More help was requested at 7 a.m. from Clinton, Lauderdale, La Grange, Burlington, East Troy and Lyons, according to scanner chatter.

Mulligan's Pub & Dining just opened about three months ago, O'Neill said.

It is Mulligan's second fire in three years.

Ten firefighters were injured March 5, 2010, in a fire at Mulligan's Sports Bar & Grill at 188 Highway 50. The firefighters were hurt when a bucket truck came in contact with power lines obscured by thick smoke.

A bartender told investigators that the 2010 fire started from grease in a kitchen fryer. The building was a total loss.

Last updated: 7:58 am Monday, July 29, 2013

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