Landmark restaurant destroyed by fire

HARTFORD, Mich. -- A long-standing Van Buren County restaurant is out of business after the building was destroyed by fire.

Fire crews say Keeler's Keg & Kitchen, located on the 64000 block of Territorial Road (C.R. 352) in Hartford, Michigan, went up in flames around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Firefighters responded quickly because Keeler Township's Fire Station is located directly across the street from the restaurant.

"We were able to get initial updates just by walking outside," said Keeler Township Fire Chief Matt Quinn. "That gave us enough information to get the other departments that we needed here right away."

A mutual aid call brought Watervliet, Hartford and Sister Lakes Fire Departments out to help battle the blazes.

Although the outside of the restaurant wasn't badly damaged, fire crews say the building's interior temperature reached up to at least 4,000 degrees. They say everything inside is either burned or melted.

Firefighters are considering the building a total loss, leaving the restaurant out of commission.

"It's going to be a sad loss for a while until the owners decide what they're going to do," said Keeler Township Fire Chief Matt Quinn. "Everybody knows Keeler's Keg for its pizza."

Chief Quinn says they're still working to determine what caused the fire.

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