A fire early Thursday morning gutted The Irish Times Bar at 2 E. Galena St. and the Post Bar and Muddy Creek Brewery just to the east.
The fire was reported shortly before 3 a.m. Firefighters were still spraying the smoking buildings at 7 a.m.
Butte-Silver Bow Fire Chief Jeff Miller said "about 35" firefighters battled the blaze during the night. No one was injured.
The roofs were caved in and the interiors of the buildings were heavily damaged. Firefighters entered the building but were forced to retreat by the intensity of the fire.
Miller said it was far too early to determine the cause, or even where the fire started. "The state fire marshal is going to help us out on this one because of the size of the structure," he said.
Thursday evening, Miller said it would be awhile before the investigation was complete. "We like to be careful and look at things thoroughly," he said.
An officer from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was seen at the site later in the morning on Thursday, but Miller said he was only there because he is a new officer and wanted to "cut his teeth on some of the bigger fires."
Just south of the Irish Times, UpTop Clothing Co. employees were removing the company's inventory from its business next door at 111 S. Main Street later in the day. The building did not burn but Miller said there was water damage, and probably some smoke damage.
The Butte Tin Shop building at 28 E. Galena also took on some water, probably from a subterranean passage, Miller said, adding that "the basement of the Irish Times was full of water" after the firefighting efforts.
The Irish Times' building was built in 1922 to house the Butte Daily Post, which published there from 1923 to 1950.
Designed by longtime Butte architect Herman Kemna, the two-story brick and concrete building was a landmark on South Main Street, admired for its lofty arched windows and classical style.
Through the years, the nearly 100-year-old building housed a doctor's office, a blood bank, and the North American Indian Alliance.
The Post's earlier home, the old Intermountain Building on Granite Street, was destroyed by fire in 1978.
Video courtesy Art Mathias.
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