Flames erupt at landmark Westmoreland County bar where movie was once filmed

AVONMORE, Pa. — Flames engulfed a landmark bar in Avonmore, Westmoreland County, early Friday morning.

The fire erupted just after 2 a.m. at Guy’s Tavern on Westmoreland Avenue.

As the blaze grew in intensity, flames shot from the roof and windows and the roof collapsed. In the end, all that remained was a shell of a building.

“The fire was blowing out the back, heavy fire. Our goal was to try and push it out, but when the fire became overwhelming, I had to pull the crews out and do a defensive attack using aerials,” the fire chief said.

Tanker trucks from Westmoreland, Armstrong and Indiana counties were needed to get water to the scene for firefighters.

The owner of the bar lives across the street and watched the fire consume the family-owned business.

“My mother is in shock,” Lisa Sturiale, the owner’s daughter, said. “Obviously, we live across the street from it, so she’s going to be reminded of this every time she looks out the window.”

Sturiale’s grandfather built the business, once called Charlie’s Danceland. It has been used for weddings, benefits and a movie shoot.

“There was a movie that was filmed, ‘Promised Land’ with Matt Damon, upstairs. Was used as a motel room for Frances McDormand. She was here as well. It was quite exciting when that happened to have big movie stars,” Sturiale said.

The cause of Friday’s fire is under investigation. No one was hurt.