Fire Chief Eric Nelson confirmed a kitchen fire occurred at the longtime bar and restaurant. Chief Nelson said the business was closed and no one was in the building during the fire. The call reportedly came from someone passing by on the highway.
Chief Nelson said one fireman was transported to Callaway District Hospital for smoke inhalation and exhaustion.
The structure is still sound according to Nelson, but he reported the fire caused “extensive damage to the interior” and would be in need of remodeling.
The fire was contained approximately 1:45 a.m. Various Arnold, Stapleton, Callaway, Merna, and Broken Bow fire and EMS crews were on the scene as well as the Custer County Sheriff’s Office. A state fire marshal investigator arrived at 2:45 a.m. according to Nelson.
Jim’s Bar General Manager Jane Chestnut told KCNI/KBBN that Tuesday has been a “rough day” and said she was “sick to my stomach” at the news of the fire. She said the business closed before 11:30 p.m. on Monday night. The next step according to Chestnut is to wait and see about insurance and what the investigation brings.
Jim’s Bar was opened in the early 1950s by Jim and Margaret Eastburn, according to their granddaughter Jessica Curyea. Curyea posted on Facebook saying, “Jim’s Bar was our home. Jim’s was “where good friends meet.”
Chestnut said she and the staff at Jim’s Bar appreciate the people of Arnold for reaching out and offering their support at this time.