CAVE CREEK, Ariz. — Crews battled a massive blaze Thursday morning at a Valley hotspot — the Buffalo Chip Saloon and steakhouse.
Rural Metro fire units initially responded to a small fire in the bathroom which was out quickly. Officials called Maricopa County arson investigators and cleared the scene, Colin Williams with Rural Metro said.
Those investigators were there when a fire then broke out in the attic three hours later, Williams said. Phoenix Fire Department had 12 units on scene, part of about 25 total trucks and over 100 firefighters from several municipalities, estimates Aaron Ernsberger of Phoenix Fire.
The second fire destroyed that building and it was ruled a total loss. No injuries have been reported.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see this iconic business burn down,” Williams said. “Here it is Thanksgiving. We know there’s a lot of people who work in this business, a lot of people who patronize this business.”
Buffalo Chip, located on Cave Creek Road near Bartlett and Horseshoe lakes, was started in 1951 as a bait shop and has since grown into a five-acre, 6,000 square foot cowboy paradise. Buffalo Chip is known for its line dancing, bull riding and their all you can eat fish fry.
“Pray for the Buffalo Chip family staying together,” Buffalo Chip owner Larry Wendt said in a message on his website. “We will do our best to take care of everyone.”
The bar is also a popular hot spot for Green Bay Packer fans.
“I’m looking at some singed Green Bay Packers flags and Green Bay Packer fans who were here to watch the game today,” Williams said.
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