A central Edmonton pub, notorious for its run-down atmosphere, went up in flames overnight.
The fire at the Milla Pub on 101 Street near 106 Avenue was reported to Edmonton Fire Rescue Services just before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when a person who discovered the flames called 911.
Crews arrived a minute later and several firefighting units were called in to deal with the fire.
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Flames and heavy smoke were visible for a while as crews tried to gain control of the fire, but the building was cleaned.
At 5 o’clock on Wednesday, the fire was still not extinguished.
Equipment was brought in Wednesday morning to tear down what is now left of the building, which has been closed and barricaded for a few years.
The Milla Pub in the McCauley neighborhood was built in 1943, according to the City of Edmonton’s website, and a demolition permit had been issued for it in August 2020.
In recent years, before it closed, people living and working in the area – including members of the McCauley Community League – said it was a problem property that attracted drugs, violence and crime.
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The pub was also the site of the city’s first gay bar, according to both the Pride Center of Edmonton and the Edmonton Heritage Council’s Edmonton City as Museum Project (ECAMP).
Club 70 opened in late 1969 in the basement of the building, but the city said the venture was very short-lived.
“When the landlord found out that homosexuals were using his building, he promptly put locks on the doors and denied further access. This left the founders, driven by its initial success, in search of another location, “said an ECAMP post.
“They settled in an old car shop located at 10242 – 106 Street. This place would remain an establishment for the LGBTQ community until the building was finally sold to the Latitude 53 Gallery in 2012.”
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No one was injured in the fire.
The cause of the fire is not yet known.
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