Brighton Tavern declared total loss after overnight fire

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An early-morning fire severely damaged the Brighton Tavern on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (Photo: Larry Bases / Northern News Net)

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BRIGHTON, Colo. — The Brighton Tavern was declared a total loss after an overnight fire early Saturday morning, the Brighton Fire Department said.

Brighton Fire responded to the fire at 24 S. Main St. about 3 a.m. When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting 20 feet into the air from the roof, Brighton Fire Chief Mark Bodane said. Firefighters were able to put out the fire after a defensive attack.

One firefighter was treated for injuries and released from a hospital at 7:30 a.m. No one was inside the tavern at the time the fire broke out. The fire has been ruled accidental.

An employee said Peggy Martin, the 90-year-old bar owner, was too upset to comment on the incident and could not say if there are plans to rebuild.

Meanwhile, longtime patrons spent the day visiting the charred bar to see the damage.

“I’m at a loss for words right now. It really is sad to see it like this,” Juan Vargas said.

He said the Brighton Tavern was his go-to bar since the 1990s.

“Just devastating, it’s like losing a home almost, you know?” Vargas said.

He said it was the kind of place where there were no strangers, just friends like Carolyn Caroll.

“This thing has been around forever,” Carroll said.

The family-owned bar might never open its doors again, marking the end of an rea for those who knew it best.

“A lot of memories in this place,” Carroll said.

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