Area firefighters spent nearly an hour searching for the source of a hidden fire, the smoke of which filled the inside of Ace’s Main Tap on Friday, May 17.

Oregon Fire Chief Glenn Linzmeier told the Observer a dozen firefighters responded to complaints of smoke in the bar’s interior at around 7:57 p.m.

Another 18 fire officials from the Fitchburg and McFarland joined them shortly after, Linzmeier said.

He said the fire resulted in no damage to Ace’s Main Tap, or any of the surrounding downtown buildings, and nobody was injured.

All guests of the restaurant and residents of the apartments above were safely evacuated, Linzmeier said.

“We won’t let people back in until there’s absolutely no chance of fire,” Linzmeier said.

While he said officials couldn’t see any flames, smoke continued to build up inside the 121 S. Main St. building. Linzmeier said customers of the Charlie’s on Main basement speakeasy also detected smoke.

He said the firefighters used thermal imaging cameras and techniques like blowing fresh air into the building to see where embers lit up.

Linzmeier said the cause of the fire was likely a cigarette that fell into a crack that’s right next to the bar building, as officials later determined the fire came from debris inside a gap between the basement wall and the sidewalk.

Smoke built up inside the gap and moved into the bar’s basement, he said.

Officials extinguished the fire by flooding water into the gap after other firefighters crawled into the mere 30 to 40 inches of space to keep watch.

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at

@HeidemannEmilie.