El Rodeo destroyed in blaze

TRIMONT – A fire broke out at El Rodeo Restaurant and Bar in Trimont shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday, destroying the building and keeping firefighters at the scene for 10 hours.

“We had smoldering, and we were also waiting for the state fire marshal,” reported Trimont Fire Chief Scott Borntrager. “We also needed an excavator to come in and move some debris so we could get at some of the remaining hot spots.”

The fire originated in the kitchen area of the older portion of the restaurant, but the exact cause was still undetermined after the state fire marshal’s visit.

“It’s looking more like an accidental fire, but there’s not a determination yet,” Borntrager said.

He said the fire was difficult to fight because of the structure’s roof.

“It was four buildings together, and all of them had that flat roof of tin,” he said. “But at the same time, it kept the fire inside the tin and not spreading to other structures.”

What is left of the building will need to be brought down because of the extensive damage. Borntrager did not have a monetary value on the loss.

Fairmont and Sherburn fire departments were called in to assist at the scene.

“Fairmont’s ladder truck was used to get up so we could get a handle on it from above,” Borntrager said.

El Rodeo has been a fixture in Trimont for more than a decade, and became a popular weekend spot for the Hispanic population in the region in the last several years.

While the restaurant had always been housed in the building, it grew from its original location and expanded into what was once Trimont’s hardware store.