Fire at Beta nightclub in LoDo likely caused by careless campfire

While a fire broke out at the Beta Event Center early on January 17, Tony Soprano was not responsible for the blaze.

According to Denver Fire Department. “It had nothing to do with operations,” said DFD spokesman Greg Pixley. “They think it was a campfire that was near the shed.”

The fire was reported around 7:47 a.m. on Jan. 17, according to Pixley. No one was hurt, although the fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, according to Valentes Corleons (legal name Hussam Kayali), owner of the nightclub but not the building that houses Beta.

“It’s a sad day for Beta,” says Corleons. “Good thing I had an alarm or everything would have burned down.”

Beta, once a world-famous nightclub, lost its liquor license Jan. 5 after a lengthy administrative process stemming from the city’s show cause order filed last August over alleged violations of law and code. . The club is also fighting the city’s attempts to essentially freeze all activity on the nightclub grounds for three years through a public nuisance case. A Denver County Court hearing on the matter is scheduled for Jan. 21.

The beta has been closed for two weeks.

Evan Semon

After the The Beta Event Center Facebook page posted news of the January 17 fire, many commentators have suggested that the blaze may have been a bad attempt to mimic a classic mafia technique of burning down a business and making it look like an accident in order to collect a business claim. assurance. Some even mentioned the episode of The Sopranos when Tony Soprano ordered a henchman to burn down a restaurant owned by his friend, Artie Bucco, so Bucco could collect the insurance money.

Corleons claimed to be a “created man” in the Sicilian Mafia, and the trial judge cited him when recommending Beta lose his liquor license.

But the fire seems tied to the other challenges Beta has faced. “I get four to seven break-ins a month,” Corleons says, noting that sometimes people try to steal alcohol from the club. The person who likely caused this fire also appears to have smashed the front doors to Beta and the nearby Cabin Tap House, he adds.

Later today, on January 18, the Corleons team will be back in front of the city in another administrative hearing, defending Cabin’s right to retain a liquor license. the Excise and Licensing Department temporarily suspended Cabin’s liquor license on January 1, after a fatal shooting left two people dead inside the club. Corleons bought the building at 1919 Blake Street that houses Cabin last summer; although he still owns the building at 1919 Blake Street, he sold the club to Thomas Schaefer late last year.

Jerry C. Greiner