An explosion and fire at a bar and restaurant in Cedar Rapids is under investigation. The blast was reported just before 11 p.m. Sunday at the Sixth Gear Bar and Grill, located on the city’s southwest side. Cedar Rapids Fire Department spokesperson Greg Buelow says it shook homes and awoke nearby residents.
“The back half of the building was basically blown apart,” Buelow said. “Debris was thrown as much as 200 yards away from the structure.” The back half of the business contained the kitchen, coolers, a mechanical room and an office. The fire was quickly extinguished and no one was injured. The business was closed at the time.
“The owner indicated to us that there were at least 150 people there Saturday night. So, we’re very fortunate this didn’t occur while people were inside the bar and grill,” Buelow said. Investigators will not be able to gain entry to the building until heavy equipment is brought in to shore up the structure.
Buelow says it appears natural gas caused the explosion. “But what precipitated that, we do not know,” Buelow said.