Early Sunday morning fire burns down local landmark

by: CINDY FAMA - What's left of the Markum Inn, which burned Sunday monringMultiple fire agencies battled a five-alarm fire at the Markum Inn in the early hours of Sunday July 20 that destroyed the local landmark.

The 911 call was received at 4:26 a.m. when a passing motorist saw the smoke billowing from the building and called it in.

Connie and Michael Cummings purchased the restaurant 15 months ago and have been putting their money back into the Inn, building an outside dining area, catering and growing the business. They said that business has tripled since they first bought it. According to the owners, the building housing the favorite local eatery located at 36903 Oregon 213, Mt Angel appears to be a complete loss.

“Our manager’s husband woke us up banging on the front door to let us know about the fire," Connie Cummings said. “When we got here, almost right away, there was a big explosion and flames coming out. It is awful, but the Markum Inn is not done. We will rebuild and we will open up the outside dining area, hopefully next week, and still feed people.”

The Cummings’s have a large Traeger grill and other equipment they use for catering events that they are planning to utilize to keep serving the public in their newly finished outdoor café.

by: CINDY FAMA - Outdoor patio at Markum Inn undamagedThis is not the first time the Markum Inn has burned, the first being in 1950. It sat empty for 20 years until it reopened New Year’s Eve in 1970. The Inn has been part of the restaurant scene since.

The Cummings’s have plans to put in a horseshoe pit, open up the barn for music and dancing. They say the fire might slow down these plans, but they are not quitting on them.

Connie has been in the food industry for 44 years and plans to stay in it.

“It is awful, but it will not keep us down," Michael Cummings said. "We have already heard from McDonalds Wholesale offering help and our patrons and friends have been stopping by telling us, whatever we need, they will do. This is a wonderful community with good down-to-earth people who are there for you when you need them.”

The Cummings’s say they were told the fire started in the kitchen area, but the fire marshal and investigators were still on site Sunday evening and had not determined the cause or exact location of ignition.

Fire departments from Mount Angel, Molalla, Silverton, Monitor and Woodburn battled the blaze for several hours.

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