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Fire guts Gadsden sports bar

GADSDEN (AP) — It took firefighters more than two hours to bring under control a fire that gutted a Gadsden sports bar and damaged two adjacent buildings.

The fire at the Sports Page Lounge was reported after 4 p.m. Tuesday. About 40 firefighters were called to battle the flames that swept through the lounge, which rests between Southern Care Hospice and Fourth Street Jewelers. The blaze caused the bar's roof to collapse and posed a danger for firefighters who were ordered twice to evacuate the building as they tried to control the fire.

Fire officials said Southern Care Hospice was heavily damaged in the fire and Fourth Street Jewelers had some damage, but not as heavy as the other two buildings.

There were no injuries reported.

Gadsden Fire Department training officer Greg Jackson said the cause of the blaze is not known. But he said it appeared to have started in the bar's kitchen area, then spread to the next building.

Sports Page owner Zel Tidmore said he'd just purchased the building in August and had started renovating a few months ago.

He told The Gadsden Times that workers said they heard an explosion in the kitchen, then saw flames spreading on the walls.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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