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  • Detroit firefighters are working to calm a 3-alarm fire at The Woodward Bar & Grill, Detroit's iconic, longstanding LGBTQ+ bar. Photo: Jason A. Michael

Officials Say Damage May Be a ‘Total Loss’ As Fire Breaks Out at Detroit’s Iconic LGBTQ+ Bar, The Woodward

No word on a potential cause

By |2022-06-15T13:27:56-04:00June 14th, 2022|Michigan, News|

Firefighters are working to extinguish a three-alarm fire at the iconic Woodward Bar & Grill, Detroit’s oldest gay bar. 

Media outlets reported the fire around 10:30 a.m. — and now, as the Metro Times reports, Detroit’s Fire Department chief of community relations James Harris is stating that the fire may be a “total loss.” The department has not speculated on a cause for the fire.

Woodward Avenue between Milwaukee and Baltimore remained closed at 1:30 p.m. QLine service has been temporarily suspended in the area, as well. The entire block, including Huntington Bank, next door to the bar, was evacuated as the fire grew. So far, no injuries have been reported.

As reports trickle in, it appears the entire building may be in peril — a portion of the rear entrance has collapsed in on itself and bystanders were reporting heavy flames long after firefighters began tackling the blaze. 

Open since 1951, The Woodward has been openly welcoming a gay clientele since at least 1960. In recent years, the bar has emerged as one of the city’s most popular bars for Black LGBTQ+ patrons. 

As news of the fire has spread across social media, dozens of community members appear in shock, sharing live videos and photos from the scene. 

Pride Source will update this story as the situation evolves.

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael joined Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.