Two-alarm blaze damages local Midtown landmark

The fire broke out around 4:00 a.m.
The fire broke out around 4:00 a.m.

(WMC-TV) - Memphis firefighters responded to a two-alarm blaze at Neil's Bar & Grill on Madison Avenue at McLean just before 4:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Four firefighters became disoriented while fighting the fire, made a mayday call, and had to be located by a second team. No injuries were reported.

Neil's is a well-known Midtown institution, and an important part of the local music scene.

Richard Butler, one of about 20 employees of the bar, said the bar held a benefit for a local musician's daughter Sunday evening who was injured earlier this year in a car accident.

Neil Heins, owner and long-time Midtown Memphis supporter, was upbeat about the situation.

"Nobody's hurt. We've still got four walls... we'll just jump in there and get it cleaned up," he said.

When asked about Neil's as a Memphis landmark, Heins replied, "Been here for awhile and intend on being here a while longer."

Investigators said the blaze did more than $300,000 worth of damage to the building, which did not have a working smoke detector.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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