Officials from the State Fire Marshal’s office have ruled that the fire that severely damaged Nick’s Ice House last week was an accident.
Danny Wade, assistant chief of the Hattiesburg Fire Department, said that decision was made on July 23, after the marshal’s staff visited and inspected the dive bar on Hardy Street.
The fire occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m. on July 21. Firefighters arrived on scene minutes later to find the building in flames; the fire was under control by 12:30 a.m.
No injuries were reported.
“(The investigation was) a joint effort with the Hattiesburg Fire Department and the state to do an investigation, to see if we can determine the cause,” Wade said. “There was nobody (inside) when we got on scene."
Nick’s Ice House was opened in the mid-1970s by Nick Kolinsky, an Army veteran and former football player at the University of Southern Mississippi. The bar, which also sells packaged ice and operates as a moving company, was named “One of the South’s Best Bars” by Southern Living Magazine.
It moved to its current location in 1981.
A recent post on the Nick’s Ice House Facebook page states, “For now, please know that Nick’s Ice House isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We’re coming back bigger and better than ever and when we do, we’re going to throw a (heck) of a party in (our patrons’) honor."