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Blaze destroys historic Hollywood Bar in Dolores

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

The Hollywood Bar was destroyed in a fire that started late Thursday night. Fusion Studio, next door, also was damaged.

By Dale Shrull
Cortez Journal Staff Writer

DOLORES – Suspicious in nature.

That’s what the late night blaze in downtown Dolores is being called. The fire destroyed the historic Hollywood Bar and an adjoining art studio.

Lt. Ted Meador of the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office offered few details into the fire Friday morning, but did say that an arson investigation team from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation was on its way to the scene.

The first call to dispatch came in at 11:34 p.m. Thursday, Meador said. Agencies from around the region responded to the blaze with the Dolores Fire Department first on the scene, arriving minutes after the first call.

“It went off so quick and it was very difficult to fight,” Dolores Fire Chief Mike Zion said. “The building is old and there have been so many additions to it.”

He said that firefighter safety was a priority as the blaze ripped through the building.

“We pulled everybody out,” he said about getting firefighters out of harm’s way when it was clear the building was too dangerous to fight up close. Zion said the multiple agencies did an admirable job fighting the fire.

“It was a good group effort. It takes mutual aid to help small departments like ours when there’s a fire like this,” he said.

He said the Cortez department’s ladder truck enabled them to flood the fire from above. Zion said that all 20 of the department’s volunteers responded to the blaze. He estimated that about 50 firefighters total responded to the fire. He said the drain on the town’s water supply was an immediate concern and the fire department switched to a contingency plan that they have had in place for years: pull water from the Dolores River. Splicing together two 5-inch, 1,000-foot hoses, firefighters began pumping water out of the river to help douse the flames.

Around 9:30 a.m., a large backhoe was used to tear out the front of Fusion Studio so firefighters could get at a few remaining hot spots.

By 10 a.m., crews were mopping up and sheriff’s deputies were stationed around the scene waiting for CBI investigators to arrive.

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