Dirty Duck Bar remains closed week after massive vacant motel fire next door

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DENVER -- Nearly one week after a massive fire gutted a vacant motel off Interstate 25 and East Evans Avenue, a neighboring business is trying to get its doors back open.

The fire at the old Rockies Inn broke out Friday just before 5 p.m. Denver Fire investigators are looking at arson as a cause.

Regardless of how it started, owners of the Dirty Duck Bar, located on the east side of the motel, said they want to be able to reopen their doors. The sign outside said what the owners hope is true.

“Its going to be temporarily. … Temporarily is what we’re going with,” bar manager Liza McGuire said.

The bar was forced to evacuate and close its doors.

“This transformer, it blew up like the Fourth of July. It was like fireworks,” McGuire said of the fire that threatened the bar and nearly 50 people inside. “Very angry. I don’t understand it. I probably will never understand it, and all I care about is getting my business and my customers back where they belong.”

No one was injured.

“Can’t replace a heartbeat but you can replace a building,” McGuire said.

Replacing income until the bar is able to reopen is a worry for McGuire.

“Sadness. Sadness. This is our livelihood. We are a very small family. Five of us that work here,” she said.

Pointing to charred materials and debris, McGuire waits patiently for a building inspector to come asses any potential structural damage.

“It popped all those fuses, so we are without power, phone, Internet, cable. I can’t run my business until its all back up and running," she said.

McGuire suspects it was arson.

“Why, why put so many people in danger?” McGuire asked.

The motel was purchased by Focus Property Group more than a year ago. Plans for the site included a $12 million renovation for Green Box Self-Storage.

“We received a certified letter in the middle of October stating that it was coming down Oct. 31 and it's still standing,” McGuire said.

Standing, but blackened and burned.

“It never should have happened, ever,” McGuire said.

McGuire wants to take the temporarily closed signs down and put her family back to work.

“It's like another 'Cheers,' everybody knows your name,” she said.

More than 10 voicemails, messages and emails were left for The Focus Property Group and Greenbox Self-Storage. All have gone unanswered.

 

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