Fire Destroys Omaha (NE) Landmark

Omaha firefighters continued to pour water on the skeleton of the building at 11th and Howard where an explosion and fire destroyed M’s Pub, Nouvelle Eve, and the condos above the businesses in Omaha’s historic Old Market, reports

The iconic awnings were caked white icicles and the heart of the Old Market was off limits to everyone except firefighters and city crews trying to manage the ice in temperatures below zero.

The explosion took place at 2:51 p.m. Saturday, shattering windows of M’s Pub and sending  a column of flames up from the basement access area next to the front patio.

Several people had just reported the strong smell of natural gas in the area.

At least one person was taken to the hospital with injuries; others scrambled to safety.

A manager at M’s Pub told KETV NewsWatch 7 that crews working to install fiber optic cable might have ruptured a gas line.

The manager said everyone in restaurant made it out safely. He also said he never witnessed flames inside the restaurant.

The resulting fire raged through the evening, breaking through the roof nearly four hours after it started.  Shortly after 8:00 p.m. firefighters were told to stay clear of the “collapse zone”.  After 11:00 p.m., floors in the historic building could be heard crashing to the ground, but the facade remained standing at daybreak Sunday.

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