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Fire destroys old Club DV8, building to be torn down

The building that housed the old Club DV8 in downtown Salt Lake City will be demolished.

Following last night's massive 4-alarm fire, Salt Lake City building officials this morning determined the old club was structurally unsafe and needed to be demolished immediately, said Salt Lake City Deputy Fire Chief Dan Andrus.

"That building is just brittle and ready to collapse," he said.

Because of that, even fire investigators will not be allowed to go inside the structure, Andrus said.

"It is likely we'll never determine a cause, unless a reliable witness steps forward," he said.

Demolition crews already tearing down the old Crossroads Mall were expected to be temporarily diverted to help tear down DV8 today.

The fire started about 8:45 p.m. at the old building, 115 S. West Temple. Nearly 70 firefighters from Salt Lake and the Unified Fire Authority fought the fire for two hours in a defensive mode, meaning their main focus was to protect the surrounding buildings.

Both the buildings next door to DV8 and the one immediately behind, where the old Dead Goat Saloon was housed, were vacant.

The fire department has had at least one crew monitoring the fire on scene continuously since Wednesday night. Early this morning, as the smoldering fire found a pocket, the fire picked up again to the point that full assignment had to be called out, Andrus said.

West Temple between 100 and 200 South was expected to be closed most of the day.

The early estimated dollar loss of the DV8 building is $1 million, Andrus said.

Club DV8 opened in 1989 and quickly became one of the hottest dance clubs and concert venues in Salt Lake. The club, which appealed mostly to the college-aged crowd, was reknowned for booking top artists and little known acts who later became big names.

In 2004 the Salt Lake Fire Department closed the club for, ironically, fire code violations because the sprinkler system was not up to par, Andrus said.

"The building was not safe to be occupied," he said.

The building had been vacant for some time and was up for sale. Andrus said he believed that all the utilities to the building had been turned off.

Patrons at other nearby restaurants and hotels said they could smell smoke, but they did not have to be evacuated. The fire also did not affect the Outdoor Retailers convention across the street from DV8 at the Salt Palace other than some inconvenient traffic issues for a few.