Fire Closes Outlaws
By Chai Gallahun, Editor
Mar 17, 2017, 13:34
Photos courtesy of Jeff Seymour: Thanks to Daylight Saving Time, Outlaws Bar & Grill was almost closed when fire erupted from its roof and quickly spread to the side and rear of the building. Every available firefighter in Petersburg responded to the blaze.
TRI-CITIES – No one yet knows what started the fire that closed the restaurant Outlaws, a popular bar and grill located at 3729 South Crater Rd. in Petersburg early Sunday morning around 3:05 a.m. The was about to close, so fortunately no major evacuation was required when the fire began. However, had it not been for Daylight Saving Time, which had just kicked-in, the restaurant would have still been opened and potentially packed with patrons. But, it was reported that the restaurant had closed an hour early to ensure it was closed in time for the Daylight Saving Time switchover.
Fire crews assessed heavy smoke and flames emanating from the roof of Outlaws. The fire spread quickly to the side and rear of the structure.
The evening festivities and enjoyment had begun as any typical Saturday night leading into Sunday morning for the country-themed bar and grill that boasts “Certified Real Food” at its website and on its menu.
A Twitter announcement before the fire on Saturday night said: “Mar-11-Sat..come join us for a party with Green this sat.....”
Patrons frequented the place for its traditional Americana cuisine with a menu including all manner of classic foods from Tombstone Wedges to their Cowboy Steaks.
Little did anyone realize such a fire would devastate the restaurant as the Saturday evening line-up of live stage music began at 9:30 p.m. and rocked country into the night. Had this been a Thursday or Friday night, the fire would have been preluded by line dancing lessons and a bikini blast event (Thursdays) or country line dancing and live stage music (Fridays).
But, the fire happened on Saturday, and what a fire it was as Petersburg emergency services responded with every available firefighter to the scene.
Firefighters closed access both north and southbound on Crater Road from the 3500 block to 3800 block to negotiate fire hydrant use.
Crews were still on the scene for most of Sunday morning to search and destroy any hot-spot remnants remaining from the fire, still searching for the cause. The Office of the State Fire Marshal is actively conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the blaze which could have been caused by anything including, but not limited to, faulty wiring, air handler units and/or grease exhaust hoods. While Crater Road was reopened Sunday, the full extent of the damage is still not known, nor when Outlaws Bar and Grill will open its doors again. No one was injured by the event.