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Fire at local exotic sports bar

By Meredith Machen, mmachen@wcyb.com
Published On: Jan 10 2013 05:04:02 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 10 2013 09:50:20 PM CST

Meredith Machen interviews a Mouse's Ear employee and a firefighter who worked the scene about the blaze that destroyed the business.

GRAY, Tenn. -

It will be a quiet night at local bar after early morning flames destroyed it. View photos from the scene | View raw video of the fire

Firefighters tell us the Mouse's Ear, an exotic sports bar in Gray, Tennessee, caught fire around 5 a.m. Thursday morning.

We talked with employees who told us they're now out of a job.

There won't be any customers coming to the Mouse's Ear tonight. Both entrances are now blocked and the building is ruined.

Firefighters say though no one was inside at the time, the building is a total loss. For those who work here, that's exactly how they feel.
Click here to view video a viewer sent us of the Mouse's Ear consumed in a raging fire.

Assistant fire chief Chris Rogers was working the fire that morning. "The flames were through the roof, coming down the roadway. We attacked it the best we could," he said.

Firefighters say when they got there they tried to go inside through the front door. The roof was already coming down.

"It's pretty much a total loss," Rogers said.

Charred by fire and doused with over 50,000 gallons of water, most everything inside is unsalvageable.

Just like the building, those who work here say they fear their jobs burnt down with the business.

Britney Bowen was an employee of the bar. "It's sad. All my stuff is in there," she said. "We don't have jobs now. It's depressing. I mean, this is like my second home."

Employees tell us more than 20 dancers worked at the Mouse's Ear, plus bartenders, wait staff and others.

Jessica Witten, an employee of two-and-a-half years, tells us she worries how she'll support her family now. "You just never know when bad things like this happen," she said. "You never know. You wake up and it's just gone."

Fire crews don't know what sparked the flames yet. It's just another question now left unanswered.
"I guess I'll wait for it to rebuild," Bowen said. "That's all I can do."

We did speak briefly with one of the owners of the Mouse's Ear. He tells us they do have insurance, but he's not sure what lies next for the bar. The owner went on to say he hopes they can rebuild.