CHAMBERLAIN -- The community of Chamberlain lost a big piece of the town's history on Monday, after a popular downtown bar was destroyed in a morning fire.
The Silver Dollar Bar, which is inside a building that dates back more than 90 years, was engulfed by flames shortly after 9 a.m. Monday at its 206 N. Main St. location. Firefighters from the Chamberlain-Oacoma Fire Department were working the scene for more than five hours, battling flames that were nearly 30 feet high.
"A lot of memories took place inside that bar, and it was a landmark in this town," said Jennifer Reindl, a longtime Chamberlain resident, who is the sister of the Silver Dollar bar owner. "It's a big part of downtown."
Angela Zeman, who owns the Silver Dollar Bar , said no one was injured or killed in the fire. Standing next to the rubble and remains of the burnt down bar, Zeman welcomed plenty hugs from locals.
"When the balcony collapsed, the fire fighters were close, but they moved back in time," Zeman said. "I have old photographs of the bar that go back to the 1930s, and I hear some old ladies talk about the days it used to be a grocery store. ... There's a lot of history in this building."
While Zeman was unsure of how long the building was the home of the Silver Dollar Bar, she said the building dates back almost a century. She said it was too soon to know what she will do next regarding plans to rebuild or finding a new location.
Cheyenne Potter, an employee at nearby Vista Business Services, said she spotted traces of smoke outside the storefront around 9 a.m., prompting her to step outside. At that moment, she saw smoke barreling from the Silver Dollar Bar.
Fire fighters were on scene and attending to the smoke when flames began bursting from the exterior of the bar at around 10 a.m, and Potter said the flames were as tall as the building.
"We watched the smoke turn to big flames, and it got bad quick," Potter said. "The fire fighters were there right away, and they got the flames controlled at around noon."
The Silver Dollar Bar has been a Main Street staple for many decades in the town of roughly 3,000 people, in part because it was open for much of the day. The 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. bar hours welcomed more than just nightlife.
"A lot of the older locals came here for coffee and played cards in the mornings," Reindl said.
Officials from the Chamberlain-Oacoma Fire Department did not respond to a request for comment prior to the publication of this story. Firefighters shut off their hoses and begin managing the rubble around 2 p.m. It wasn't immediately clear what the impact was to the nearby businesses, which were evacuated while firefighters battled the blaze at the Silver Dollar Bar.