Fire destroys Martini Mo'z in the Village of Waterford

WATERFORD (WITI) -- Fire crews responded to 1st and Main in the Village of Waterford early Friday morning, January 3rd for reports of a structure fire.

Authorities say the fire broke out in a two-story building, home to Martini MO’z, a downtown cocktail lounge, and a private residence above, around 3:30 a.m.

According to officials, when fire crews arrived on scene they observed a significant amount of smoke coming from what appeared to be the basement level of the building.

"It's scary because the buildings are so close to each other. You know, being downtown they're all hooked on to each other," said Pat Pfitzenmeier.

The owner of the bar and her daughter, who lived in the residential area above Martini MO'z, have been evacuated along with two occupants from a neighboring residence. Red Cross has been contacted to assist.

"This summer, Ruthie and Mo orchestrated a volunteer event and they raised money for the fire department," said Carlene Chavez. "Anytime we needed anything they were there for us."

Watertown officials have reported no injuries at this time.

"We're so lucky there aren't any injuries and there aren't any victims," said Tom Roanhouse.

The building has been standing since 1877. Its future is now in question.

"Obviously it's devastating. It's one of the oldest buildings in town," said Roanhouse. "How do you replace a landmark?"

Motorists traveling on STH 20/83 from Main St. to Elizabeth St. are advised to find alternate routes around the area. The route will be closed from approximately 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 4th to allow the conclusion of an investigation.

Motorists are advised to detour downtown Waterford by using STH 36, CTH D and CTH W through the Village of Rochester.

Crews are still working to determine the origin of the fire. There is no criminal investigation at this time.