Forest Grove sports bar fire likely accidental

Credit: KGW

Fire destroyed the Prime Time sports bar in Forest Grove.


by Katherine Cook, KGW Staff

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 28 at 5:04 PM

FOREST GROVE -- The fire that burned down a Forest Grove spoirts bar last week is likely accidental, investigators said Monday.

The three-alarm fire destroyed the Prime Time Sports Bar & Restaurant last Wednesday morning.

Investigators think cooking oil-soaked rags in a utility room may have started the blaze. Damage was estimated at $1.5 million.

Flames were too intense and condition too dangerous for fire fighters to remain in the building after the first alarm was called-in about 4 a.m. Two more alarms were quickly called-in.

The fire appeared to be coming from the attic and the back of the building, according to Matt Johnston of Forest Grove Fire & Rescue.

One fire fighter complained of chest pains and was taken to the hospital suffering from heat exhaustion.

Shocked customers who heard of the fire watched in disbelief as it gutted the interior.

"I was here last night shooting pool with some friends," said Lloyd Graves. "I got a phone call that it was burning so I had to come down and take a look."

An account for the restaurant workers has been set up at the Columbia Community Bank, under the account of Primetime Employees. Regulars said they lost more than restaurant Wednesday.

"This hurts," said Alison Bryan, "his hurts a lot. People know you by name. We all know each other that eat there. We're all regulars. It's kind of like losing your home, sort of."