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Two-alarm fire leaves South Milwaukee tavern in rubble

CREATED May 23, 2012

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SOUTH MILWAUKEE - A two-alarm fire has turned a landmark bar in South Milwaukee into a pile of rubble.

Soot and debris were found at the location of Spirits Bar and Grill.

The fire happened in the building housing that bar and and an apartment at about 4:00 a.m. near the corner of South 9th and East Milwaukee Avenues in South Milwaukee.

Bret Schultz, who lives above the bar, told McCrady that a cleaning lady was working inside the restaurant when she heard what was described as a popping sound.

The fire then broke out in a back room.  She called 911.  South Milwaukee Police banged on Schultz's door to get him out.

"I was asleep.  There was a bang on my door.  I woke up and there was smoke in my bedroom," said Schultz to TODAY'S TMJ4's Melissa McCrady.

As a precaution, authorities went door to door to evacuate several other apartments and businesses.

As of about 5:20 a.m., firefighters were putting out hot spots at the fire scene.

No one was injured.

The bar has been located at that location since 1982.

"In this area of our town, the downtown area of South Milwaukee that we're very proud of, we take this very serious because of the proximity of the neighboring buildings and the building construction, " explained Chief Joseph Knitter.