LOOMIS – Sully’s Caf&#233; burned down on Thursday, Jan. 22.
“The caf&#233; caught fire in the early morning and the emergency calls were made about five minutes before 6 a.m.,” Chris Elder, caf&#233; owner, said. She added that Jerry Ogle, who owns the Loomis Kwik Stop, called in the fire.
“My store sits just besides their store and as I drove by, I saw the six foot high flames coming from the West window,” Ogle said. “I called the Loomis Fire Department and 15 minutes later they were putting water on it. It was a very quick response from them because it is a volunteer fire department. Then the Tonasket Fire Department came up and helped them.”
After an investigation on Saturday, Jan. 24, Elder said the cause of the fire was stated to have an “indeterminate electrical cause,” which she said means the fire had something to do with the wiring, but that the investigators couldn’t be sure exactly how the fire happened.
“The fire fighters attempted to fight the fire from the inside but when they kicked in the door, there was fire blow over and they had to retreat until later in the afternoon,” Elder said.
She said she owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Loomis Fire Department.
“They are a tremendous group of individuals who were not only protecting the community but themselves,” Elder said. “I can’t say enough good things about them. They were just professional, caring, everything and that goes for the Tonasket crew as well because they were up here to spray water on the roof as it caved in.”
Elder, the owner of Sully’s for the last six years converted it into a caf&#233; in 2003 because she said the “building lent itself to the purpose of being a caf&#233; and I thought the community could use one.”
She said the building dates back to 1914 and it used to be a store owned by “Granny” Tillman and then by Glee and Ivadell Sullivan from 1951 to the early 1970’s. Elder said Don Lawless owned the caf&#233; from the 1970’s until she bought it, but that it had several other owners during that time that all let the building go back to Lawless. She stated that Miriam Pratt also owned the building for several years.
“It’s just sad to have a business like that go down,” Ogle said. “It was a historical building and we all had a lot of fun in there. It will be missed.”
The fire destroyed the roof and Elder said she is hoping to salvage the basement, but that will have to be determined sometime down the road.
“We’re hoping to rebuild,” Elder said. “I haven’t even paid the kitchen renovation off yet, so it’d be nice to get something going again.”