Watch a video of the Cafe Genevieve fire below, and see Wednesday's edition of the News&Guide for more photographs and coverage of the fire investigation. — Editor
Flames shooting out of Cafe Genevieve could be seen a block away at 3 a.m. Tuesday.
The fire moved to the attic of the historic restaurant and caught a pine tree on fire, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Chief Brady Hansen said.
A passerby noticed the fire in the middle of the night and called 911.
Firefighters were on scene shortly after and were able to get into the attic and knock down the fire within about 10 minutes.
"If we had been there two minutes slower we would have had more severe damage," Hansen said. "The attic space can’t sustain much fire without significant damage."
Hansen called the fire "intense" and said it most likely started in the kitchen area.
"The door was closed between the kitchen and the dining area so that saved the dining area from smoke damage," Hansen said.
Firefighters requested a state fire marshal to come assist in the investigation into the fire's exact cause.
"This is an important structure to our community," Hansen said. "There is significant damage but we're happy we didn't lose the whole structure."
Investigators might have a better idea of the cause Tuesday afternoon, Hansen said.
Cafe Genevieve will remain closed indefinitely. On the scene of the fire Tuesday morning, chef Josh Governale said major construction will be needed to repair the damage.
"We’ll rebuild and have a new kitchen," Governale said. "That’s all we know. We’re grateful and lucky it was only contained in the back part and that the fire department did a great job and got here in time. They stopped it from going to the main part of the cabin."
A shed on the back of the property is a "total loss," fire officials said.
Cafe Genevieve is the anchoring historic building on a block that is in the middle of a crowdfunding push to preserve historic structures and open space. The Jackson Hole Land Trust is spearheading the fundraising effort to "Save the Block."
"It made me really emotional that we could actually lose something on that block," Land Trust president Laurie Andrews said. "If anything, this just struck a chord that this is more important than ever, and this block means so much to us and we can't lose any part of it."
This is a developing story.
Contact Johanna Love at 732-7071 or firstname.lastname@example.org.