Newspaper Archive of
Quad City Herald
Brewster, Washington
December 17, 1998     Quad City Herald
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December 17, 1998

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Q UAD CITY Serving the towns of Brewster, Bridgeport, Mansfield, Pateros and lower Methow Valley Weather H L P December 9 31 21 0 December 10 37 21 0 December 11 34 28 .10 December 12 35 30 .53 December 13 39 34 22 December 14 44 33 0 December 15 41 31 0 Weekly weather report through courtesy Security Section, Chief Joseph Dam Brewster landmark destroyed by fire Early morning blaze burns down Lincoln Tavern The LincolnTavem,one of the oldest buildings in Brewster, was destroyed in a spectacular fire early Friday morning, December 11. No one was injured. The fire was reported at about 3 a.m. Friday, stud Brewster Fire Chief Mike Webster. It was discovered by Tom Ansert, who lives in an apartment over an adjoining building, he said. An.sen awoke about 3 a.m. and smelled smoke in his apartment; he went down to the slreet toinvestigate,Webster said, and discovered smoke seeping from the tavern wall, around a swamp cooler on the northwest side of the building. Firefighters were notifed at about 3:12 a.m. Webster said the initial report of smoke in the building did not alarm him, but when he walked outside he smelled "that structure fire smell." By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, five to six minutes after the initial call, "there were just flames starting to "come out around that swamp cooler," Webster said. Firefighters could not see any visible flames when they looked through the windows, Webster said, but within about 10 minutes "it had broken through the roof, blew the front windows out--it was going. Going good." "Unreal," said tavern owner Ken Hall, surveying the remains just after daybreak on Friday morni,ng.  He said he was notified ofa "small fire down here" at about 4 a.m. He arrived at the scene expecting to find, perhaps, the front door broken in and smoke damage to the inside, he said. "I didn't expect to see it laying on the ground." Hall has owned the tavern for 19 years, he said; "Barb and I (tavern manager Barbara Landa) both stood and cried," as they watched the fire. Hall said the property was covered by insurance-- but not enough, in his opinion, to cover the cost of "It could have been a whole lot 00worse ,- we could have lost the whole block." - Mike Webster, Brewster fire chief 2O Ike Vallance photos Flames light up the early morning darkness of Breweter as fire and dark smoke billow from the two sto W landmark structure. The neighboring barber shop building (leaning Ildder) and Webster Furniture escaped serious damage. rebuilding. He said he did not know whether or not he would try torebuild. Firefighters from Omak, Okanogan, Malott and Pateros joined about 20 Brewster furemen in battling the fire, Webstersaid, about 40 firefighters total. Hall said in' his opinion their quick action saved the rest of block. "We were very lucky," said Dan Webster, owner of Webster's Furniture. His business, two doors from the tavern, escaped even smoke damage, he said. There was a fire wall between the tavern and the adjoining building, the Brewster Barber Shop. In addition, the roof and west wall collapsed inward, and "that helped us," Mike Webster said. It was a cold night with no wind, which were good weather conditions for containing the fre, he said. "It could have been a whole lot worse," he said: with the right weather conditions,"we could have lost the whole block." Webster said the cause of the lug is still under investigation. A bartender left the establishment at about 2 a.m. after finishing closing chores. Webster said she told him she did not see or smell anything out of the ordinary when leaving. Firefighters were on the scene about 12 hours. Webster said ambulance personnel from Okanogan County Fire District No. 5 were on the scene and set up a rest area for the firefighters. "They stayed there most of the day," he said. Workers from Okanogan County PUD No. 1 responded quickly to disconnect the electricity, and stayed on the scene as long as they were needed, he said. Brewster maintenance workers manipulated the city water supply to provide adequate water even at the height of the fire. Police officers barricaded the streets and directed traffic well into the morning. "This is the last of the old buildings," Hall said. The tavern was built in about 1912, when Brewster's main street was moving away from its original position along what is now 3rd Street. The riverboats that had moved the town's apples, lumber and wheat to the outside world were disappearing under the impact of the owner railroads. (That old main Lincoln Tavern street also was destroyed by fire, at least twice.) The Lincoln began its life as a feed store, in the age when most land transport that didn't move on rails moved on four hooves. In a 1996 interview concerning the beginnings of Brewster, George Wilson recalled that a family named Woods, who lived on Dyer Hill, were its "This is the last of the old buildings," - Ken Hall, con't on page 5 ! In the light of morning firemen continue to pour water on the smoldering ruins of the building constructed around 1912. Pateros School Board seeks $180.,000 M and 0 levy Levy will be ..,ou,s,,o the schoolbuilding, except in cases where a lab or similar on Districtofficialswanttocontinueasummer activity is part of the class. Seven class school program+ Nolan said. as well as buy periods, each 48 minutes long, would replace February '99 ballot newequipmentforthegradeschoolplayground, the four period day. Nolan said district , more computer equipment and additional officials had discovered that students Pateros School Board members will ask curriculummaterials.Anafter-schooltutoring whohadamath, science or similar classes district voters to approve orre ject a one-year, program is offered, requiring transportation in the first semester forgot some of what $180,000 maintenance and operations levy for some children; district officials want to they had learned by the time tests were request, continue it, he said. taken in the spring. It will be offered to voters in February 1999. Inotherbusinessattheregularschoolboard Nolan said that the seven classes actually The money would be collected in the spring meeting Monday, Decemberl4,principalPerry wouldincreasetheamountoftimeeachteacher and fall of 2000. Atkinson presented a proposal to revise the spends with students during the school year, The request is a $20,000 increase from an high school and junior high chedule for the allowing the length of the school day to be M&O levy approved by voters in February of 199%2000 school year. reduced.Thenewschedulehasnotbeenapproved this year. District superintendent Bob Nolan Under the proposal the school day would by the school board, and parents and district said the increase reflects more activity at be reduced by about 20 minutes. The 90 .... school, and a need for more equipment inside minute class periods would be eliminated, con't on page 4 Cops and Kids Christmas Party Saturday in Brewster All children in the Quad City area are invited to the Cops and Kids Christmas Party, scheduled for Saturday, December 19 from noon to3 p.m. in the commons at Brewster High School. The party is for children from preschool through the sixth grade, said Brewster Police sergeant Jerry Neumann. Students from the Current World Problems (CWP) class at Brewster :High School will act as hosts and plan the games. Admission is at least one can of food, but no child will be turned away; "a can, if you can," Neumann said. Parents are asked to pick up their children promptly at 3 p.m. The party will feature carnival-style gamesmbean bag toss, fish pond, dart throw--in addition to a visit from Santa Claus. Each child will receive a bag of candy. A poster contest is part of the day's activities. All children are encouraged to submit a .pgster on the theme of winter safety. Entrants are asked to write their name, age and grade in school on the back. The winners will receive sleds; there are 40 sleds to be given away, Neumann said.