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Longtime Fired Up Pizzeria bartender dies unexpectedly

Durango restaurant closes on Fourth of July amid death of well-liked manager
Morgan and Brent Melville eat lunch at Down the Rabbit Hole, a former Durango restaurant, in 2021. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

A longtime bartender and recently married Durango man was found dead in his sleep early Tuesday, which prompted his employer, Fired Up Pizzeria, to close the restaurant on the Fourth of July.

Brent Melville, 40, was the bar manager at Fired Up in downtown Durango. He worked at the restaurant for 11 years.

“He was so kind,” said Becky Grimes, manager at Fired Up. “He always made everyone feel welcomed and included.”

Melville’s wife, Morgan Melville, discovered him deceased in his sleep, said La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith. The wife called 911, and emergency crews pronounced him dead soon after arriving.

Smith said the cause of death is unknown. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Melville and his wife were married in May and were about to embark on their honeymoon to Portugal. Grimes said Melville was friends with everyone at the restaurant and invited all the employees to his wedding.

The managers and owners of Fired Up closed the restaurant on Tuesday after being informed of Melville’s death. Grimes said there was no way they could work and run the restaurant.

“It was just too much,” she said.


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