No one hurt but Press Bar and Lounge a total loss in St. Cloud fire

Crews were pulled because of structural concerns

WCCO Radio Newsroom
February 17, 2020 - 10:12 am
St. Cloud fire

Jennifer Lewerenz


Crews are tearing down a fire-ravaged building in downtown St. Cloud to allow city fire fighters to get to the flames that erupted early Monday morning.

The building housed the Press Bar and Lounge, which is described as a total loss.

The fire was called in around 2:40 a.m. Monday on the 500 block of West St. Germain Street in the heart of St. Cloud's downtown

Because the building was fully engulfed, firefighters were forced to take a defensive tack for their safety. 

All fire fighters were pulled out of the building because of structural concerns.

"The only way that we're going to get this fire out is by pulling the building down and getting to where the fire is still burning," said St. Cloud fire battalion chief Jerry Raymond during a press conference near the site of the fire.

No one was hurt and it's not known how the fire started.

"The best guess we have right now, we know it started in the basement," said Raymond. "Other than that, as far as the exact cause, we might not know for a day or two."

Fire departments from Sartell and Sauk Rapids, along with off-duty fire fighters, were called in to help bring the blaze under control.

Raymond said they are working to ensure adjacent buildings are not affected by the fire, which he noted was contained to the structure that housed the bar.

"I'm upset, it's hard to see a good place go," said Isabelle Reischl, who worked as a bartender at the Press Bar for the past eight months. "I have another job, but this is my favorite one."

Bar fire in St. Cloud
Jennifer Lewerenz





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