Air conditioner blamed in fire at downtown Janesville bar
Janesville Fire Department reported the fire broke out at 11:51 p.m. Friday in the rear of Weirdo’s Bar and Grill, at 209 W. Milwaukee St.
Firefighters arrived to see smoke coming from the front entrance at the bar and flames coming out of the back of the building.
Weirdo’s owner Shane Weir, who was at the bar when the fire broke out, said patrons had reported smelling smoke shortly before flames started coming from around an air conditioner in the wall, according to the fire department.
Patrons evacuated the bar, and no injuries were reported. The fire department reported extinguishing the fire quickly.
Alliant Energy technicians shut off electricity and gas at the bar, and officials checked parts of the building above the bar, but most of the damage from the fire was near the air conditioning unit, which apparently had an electrical malfunction.
The fire caused about $20,000 in structural damage at the bar, and about $5,000 in damage to contents of the building, according to the fire department.
Weir said he was able to reopen the bar Saturday afternoon.
Eight emergency units and 20 responders were at the fire, according to the fire department.