Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Cause of another downtown fire still unknown

Emily Dean/Winonan

The cause of the fire that destroyed downtown Winona bar The Mason Jar is still unknown after more than a week of investigation.

Assistant Chief Fire Marshall Jason Theusch said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Theusch said the fire department was in the building all last week, and the tenants of the upstairs apartments were able to go back to the building to collect their belongings.

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Seven of the apartments above The Mason Jar were evacuated the night of the fire along with bar patrons.

Sergeant Kevin Kearney spotted the fire early Friday morning on his routine patrol of the downtown area.

Kearney said he became suspicious when he saw a haze in the sky a block away from the bar.

“It sends off a warning sign especially in the winter time,” Kearney said. “There was a little flashing light that caught my eye, and I knew something was wrong.”

Kearney said when he approached the building he smelled smoke and immediately evacuated everyone in the bar.

“By the time I got there, people were already evacuating the apartments above. The fire started in the attic so they smelled smoke before the people in the bar did,” Kearney said.

Kearney said he believes the fire had been going for quite awhile before he arrived.

“There was a small opening to the attic where I could see the fire, and it was scary looking. It was a heavy fire,” Kearney said.

This is the third fire in downtown Winona within the last year and a half. All three fires were located in a two-block radius of each other.

Theusch said the fire department is unable to say whether the fires are related in anyway.

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