Fire Destroys Checotah Hotel And Bar
Firefighters were on the scene of a fire at a Checotah Motel and bar all day Tuesday.
Friends of the owner say the bar inside the motel is a local favorite, where everyone came together every week to reminisce and catch up. Ginger Lancaster compared her memories inside Monroe’s Club to an old sitcom.
“Like the old show, Cheers,” she said. “That’s kind of what this was.”
Monroe’s was just a small bar, tucked inside a Checotah motel. Lancaster said she’s been meeting up with friends here for several years.
“They’d just sit around, play pool and talk about old times,” she said.
That’s how Lancaster got to know one of the owners.
“I just feel so bad for the owner, Peggy,” Lancaster said. “I don’t know what she’s going to do at this point.”
The Checotah Fire Chief said they’ll continue working the scene for a while. Firefighters, fortunately, were able to stop the flames before the whole building burned.
“We got the fire stopped just past the first room,” Fire Chief Greg Carmack said.
Carmack said there’s still a lot of work to be done; they’re bringing in equipment now to remove the exterior walls, so they can finish putting out hot spots.
“It’s too dangerous to put firefighters in there right now and it’s not worth getting anybody hurt over,” Carmack said.
One of the owners told News On 6’s Taylor Newcomb off camera they have good insurance, so they hope to open their doors again sooner rather than later.
Lancaster said she’s just grateful her old group of friends isn’t grieving a loss greater than their favorite local bar.
“Oh God, it would’ve been devastating,” she said. “I’m amazed nobody did get hurt but I just thank God that God was with them and got them out before it got worse.”
Chief Carmack said one firefighter did go to the hospital for smoke inhalation, but they expect him to be fine.