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Popular Canyon Ferry bar heavily damaged by fire

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Posted at 10:40 PM, Aug 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 08:58:15-04

HELENA — What started as the perfect afternoon to lounge on the lake turned devastating after a popular Canyon Ferry area bar caught on fire.

Several fire agencies were dispatched to the Dam Bar after a fire broke out Saturday afternoon. The Dam Bar is located just north of Kim's Marina on Cave Bay.

The Dam Bar has been popular spot for the lakeside residents for decades. The Dam Bar is located on the north end of Canyon Ferry Lake on Cave Gulch Road.

According to the Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department crews got the report of the fire just before 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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Crews were at the scene within minutes and attacked the fire at its source in the kitchen. However, the fire had spread to the building's attic.

Tri-Lakes Fire said Saturday's warm weather and the construction of the building were factors, adding that it was risky to attempt more "aggressive interior operations."

Amanda Swisher has been a customer of the bar for eight years; she said, “Seeing the bar burn down actually brings quite a bit of feeling of loss to my family and I.”

Swisher and her family would often retreat to the bar for cold drinks and food after a long day out on Canyon Ferry.

“Usually Saturday or Sunday nights we meet here and get together and discuss the weekend and all the fun we've had,” said Swisher.

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"This is a huge loss for this community, this place has been popular for 30 plus years,” said Swisher.

Swisher says she is devastated for the owners and workers of the bar: “My condolences to (owners) Nancy and her husband and my heart goes out to all the employees that lost their job today,” said Swisher.

Firefighters from Baxendale, East Gate, East Valley, and Tri-Lake Fire Departments were still trying to stop the flames as of 7:30 p.m.