Early Morning Fire Destroys Longtime Little Falls Bar
An early morning fire destroyed a longtime Little Falls bar and five apartment units on Wednesday. The building is a total loss but no one was injured in the blaze.
Passerby stopped along West Broadway in Little Falls Wednesday to take in the wreckage from an early morning fire that destroyed a longtime establishment, West Side Bar.
“I had played here in a band in my earlier years; to see this has happened, it tugs at you a little bit,” said Little Falls resident James Norwood. “It’s certainly a local landmark.”
According to the Little Falls Fire Department, crews were called to the West Side Bar at 115 West Broadway at around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, June 5.
“This morning we were called to a fire in an apartment building above the West Side Bar. Smoke detectors were going off, of course,” said Little Falls Fire Chief Michael Nieman.
When the fire department arrived, they noticed flames coming out of the upstairs apartments. Crews battled the blaze for around eight hours.
“We got on scene and it looked like it was coming from the apartment on the southwest corner above the bar. Actually, it started up in the attic area,” added Chief Nieman. “So it makes it a little more difficult.”
Rod Dering had lived in an upstairs apartment for over ten years and was awoken late last night to the fire.
“Got a pounding at the door around 1:30 a.m. this morning. It was a couple of deputies and three policemen. ‘Get out, get out.’ But we survived. Everything’s good,” said Dering. “I’m above ground. I’m looking down at the grass, not up at the roots. That’s the way I look at it.”
Though the cause of the fire is unknown, the fire department does not believe it is suspicious in manner.
“It’s kind of hard to tell right now. We contacted the State Fire Marshal’s Office. As of right now, it doesn’t look suspicious, but we’ve got to go through the hoops,” explained Chief Nieman.
Though a popular bar and five apartments were destroyed, everyone is just thankful that no one was hurt.
“Everybody’s safe. That’s all I want to say,” added Dering. “Life goes on.”
The Little Falls Fire Department was assisted at the scene by five area fire departments, the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office, the Little Falls Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Little Falls Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.