Explosion, Three-Alarm Fire At M’s Pub In The Old Market


THIS SOUD BUT LOUD BOOM.” WOMAN: THE WHOLE BUILDING SHOOK W/ THE EXPLOSION” MAN: “WE COULD SMELL A STRON GSMELL OF GAS” KANGER: “AS OF RIGHT NOW THE FIRE IS STILL NOT UNDER CONTROL.” WOMENA: “IT’S THAT BLINK OF AN EYE STUFF..THEN THE NEXT MINUTE.” KANGER: “WE’VE HAD A BASEMENT COLLAPSE IN TEH AREA OF M’S PUB WHICH HAS MADE IT VERY DIFFICULT.” FIRE OVERTAKES A POPULAR RESTAURANT AND BAR– IT STARTED AT 3– AND NOW SEVEN HOURS LATER: IT CONTINUES TO BURN– GOOD EVENING EVERYONE, AND THANKS FOR JOINING ME TONIGHT– I’M MATTHEW SMITH– TO SAY TONIGHT’S FIRE IN DOWNTOWN OMAHA IS A BIG ONE, IS QUITE THE UNDERSTATE MENT– ONLY TIME WILL BRING CLARITY AND CONTEXT TO WHAT THIS WAS– BUT THE PICTURES WE’RE SEEING TONIGHT TELL QUITE THE JARRING STORY! WE’RE TACKLING THIS WITH TEAM COVERAGE TONIGHT– CHASE MOFFITT FIRST ARRIVED SHORTLY AFTER 3- O’CLOCK– HE’S GOT DETAILS FROM THOSE WHO SAW THIS UNFOLD FIRST HAND– OUR JOHN CHAPMAN HAS BEEN TALKING WITH FIREFIGHTERS: THE COLD CAUSING UNIMAGINABLE DIFFICULTIES– CHASE BEGINS OUR COVERAGE — CHASE: WHAT ARE YOU SEEING, FROM THE GROUND? MATT. WE’RE LIVE HERE AT SCENE WHERE BEHIND ME YOU CAN SEE FIRE CREWS CONTINUING TO PUT WATER ON TO THE BUILDING. FLAMES CONTINUE TO SHOOT FROM THE BUILDING THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT — WE KNOW AT LAST UPDATE FROM OMAHA FIRE CHIEF BERNIE KANGER — THERE WAS AT LEAST A PARTIAL COLLAPSE IN THE BASEMENT. ABOVE THE RESTARAUNT — THERE ARE APARTMENTS ABOVE — WE SPOKE WITH ONE WOMAN WHO WAS HOME WHEN IT ALL FIRST HAPPENED. “THE WHOLE BUILDING SHOOK WITH THE EXPLOSION, SMOKE STARTED FILLING, I’M ON THE 4TH FLOOR.” “NATS OF FIRE” THROUGH THICK SMOKE AND BITTER COLD WINDS WE CAN SEE FIRE FIGHTERS SHOOTING WATER ONTO FLAMES RIPPING UP FROM THE BASEMENT OF M’S PUB IN THE OLD MARKET. “FIRE FIGHT” THE BATTLE IS A BLOCK WIDE EFFORT — FROM THE AIR OFF THE LADDER TRUCK WATER SHOOTING FROM ABOVE. “THE SMELL OF GAS ON 11TH AND HOWARD WAS SO AWFUL I COULDN’T BREATHE SO I PULLED MY CAR INTO THE ALLY AND I RAN UPSTAIRS AND DROPPED OFF MY WORK.” ABOVE THE RESTAURANT ARE A NUMBER OF APARTMENTS — IT’S WHERE REBECCA KEATING LEFLER LIVES. ONCE SHE SMELLED GAS — SHE ALERTED HER NEIGHBORS. “I CALLED 911 TO TELL THEM ABOUT THE GAS THAT I COULD SMELL THE LEAK AND I RAN TO MY NEIGHBORS AND KNOCKED ON THEIR DOORS TO TELL EVERYONE TO GET OUT.” THE OMAHA FIRE DEPARTMENT SAYS PART OF THE M’S PUB BASEMENT COLLAPSED AND ALTHOUGH THE EXTERIOR IS BRICK, THE WOOD FRAME AND INTERIOR MADE THE STRUCUTRE AT A RISK FOR COLLAPSE. THOSE INSIDE RUSHING TO GET OUT. “WE TRIED TO GET ON THE ELEVATOR AND GOT STUCK IN THE ELEVATOR ON THE 2ND FLOOR BUT IT OPENED UP BUT WE CAME RUNNING OUT AND THEY WERE EVACUATING. THE EXPLOSION TOOK PLACE AT M’S AND PEOPLE WERE SCREAMING AND RUNNING OUT OF THEIR, TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM THE FIRE.” “RAW VIDEO” A WOWT 6 NEWS VIEWER SENT IN THIS VIDEO WHO WAS IN THE AREA WHEN THE EXPLOSION TOOK PLACE. ACCORDING TO OMAHA FIRE CHEIF BERNIE KANGER ONE PERSON WAS TAKEN TO NEBRASKA MEDICINE SERIOUS INJURIES — A WITNESS SAID THEY SAW SOMEONE BEING PUT INTO AN AMBULANCE WITH FACIAL CUTS AND BLEEDING INJURIES. OTHERS IN THE AREA RUNNING TO HELP WHEN THEY HEARD THE EXPLOSION. “YOU COULD TELL IT WASN’T A CAR ACCIDENT SO I RAN AROUND THE CORNER AND THAT’S WHEN I SAW THE FLAMES, I CAME TO SEE IF I COULD HELP.” EVENTUALLY A SECOND THEN A THIRD ALARM WOULD BE CALLED TO THE FIRE AS THE FLAMES CONTNIUED TO SPREAD THROUGH THE BUILDING, A DANGEROUS SITUATION REMAINED — AT TIMES THE STREETS TURNED NEARLY DARK AS NIGHT BECAUSE OF THE THICKNESS OF THE SMOKE. STILL CREWS KEPT SHOOTING WATER ONTO THE FLAMES. “IT SEEMED LIKE IT WAS SPREADING IT CAME UP THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING PRETTY QUICKLY AND AT THAT POINT THAT’S WHEN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AND THE POLICE TOLD US TO STEP BACK.” BACK HERE LIVE — THE FIGHT IS UNDERWAY TO CONTINUE BATTLING THE FLAMES.– AROUND 7:30 IT THERE WAS THAT THIRD ALARM CALLED — RADIO REPORTS INDICATING THE BUILDING IS A COLLAPSE THREAT. THERE WAS HOPE TO SAVE THE BUILDING BUT AT THIS POINT THE OBVIOUS CONCERN IS SAFETY FOR THOSE AROUND. REPORTING LIVE CHASE MOFFITT WOWT 6 NEWS. “THE WHOLE BUILDING SHOOK AMATEUR VIDEO: SHOWS THE FLAMES — SOME NOTING ONLINE THAT IT ALMOST LOOKS LIKE GAS IS FUELING THE FLAMES– THAT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE NO LESS THAN A DOZEN WITNESSES SAY YOU COULD SMELL GAS IN THE AIR BEFORE THIS FIRE BROKE OUT! THEY SAY– QUOTE: “CAUSE OF M’S BAD ENOUGH– BUT ADD IN THE ICE-COLD TEMPERATURES, AND THE FIGHT TO PRESERVE OLD MARKET INTENSIFIES! FIRE CREWS HAD TO ROTATE IN- AND OUT- TO STAY FRESH– BUT AS JOHN CHAPMAN EXPLAINS: THERE’S MORE ISSUES THAN JUST KEEPING THESE GUYS FRESH: OMAHA FIREFIGHTERS HAD TO FIGHT THICK HEAVY SMOK IN FRIGID TEMPER TURES…..FOUR HOURS INTO THE BATTLE THE FIRE CAME BACK TO LIFE CONTINUING ITS ASSUALT ON THISE HISTORIC BUILDING 12 34 02 WE’VE HAD A PARTICIAL COLLASPE OF THE BASEMENT AREA ION M’S PUB WHICH HAD MADE THE FIREFIGHTING EFFORS VERY DIFFIULT AS YOU CAN TELL THE COPNDITIONS OUT HERE ARE VERY COLD WE’VE GOT SOME MECHINICAL ISSUES WITH PUMPS THAT ARE STARTING TO FREEZ UP WE’VE GOT A LOT OF WATER ON THE GROUND 12 34 19 THE BUILDING THAT HOUSE M’S PUB AND LOFTS ON THE TOP FLOORS WAS BUILDT IN THE LATE 18-OR EARLY 19 HUNDREDS…ITS HARD TO TELL WHATS IN THE SMOKE GNERATED BY THE FIRE. 12 35 34..REPORTER ASK ANY PROBLEM WITH ABESTOS OR ANY THING LIK ETHAT BURNING IN THESE OLD BUILDIGS.. THAT WOULD BE TOO EARLY TO TELL AT THIS TIME ALL OF OUR PEOPEL ARE WEARIN GTHEIR FULL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING SO THEY SHOULD BE IN GOOD SHAPE 12 35 44 FIREFIGHTING CREWS HAD TO ROTATE IN ORDER TO STAY WARM IN THE ICY COLD WEATHER, ALL OF THE FIGHTING HAD TO TAKE PLACE OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING, 12 35 01 THERSE TYPES OF BUILDINGS HAVE A BRICK EXTERIOR AND A WOOD FRAME INTERIOR WHICH MAKES A COLLASPOE POTENTIAL VERY REAL FOR OUR PEOPLE 12 35 10 THE BUILDING DOWN HERE IN THE OLD MARKET ARE VERY COLSE TO EACH OTHER….THE FIRE CHIEF TELLS US FIRE CREWS WORKED VERY HARD TO CONTAIN THE FIRE AND NOT LET IT SPREAD TO ANY OTHER BUILDINGS SO FAR NO FIREFIGHTERS SUFFERED ANY SERIOUS INJURIES. REPORTING LIVE WITH PHOTRAGHPER NICK BOHAN..JOHN CHAPMAN WOWT SIX NEWS.

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