The new year brought an unfortunate new start to Omaha’s famous Old Market. Mid-afternoon on Sat., Jan. 9, the popular M’s Pub, located on the corner of 11th Street, was engulfed in flames. It took 60 firemen nine hours to put out the fire, leaving the building encased in a thick layer of ice. Luckily, all customers and upper-level apartment owners had been evacuated due to the alarming smell of gas filling the building and the surrounding area. It turns out, there was fiber-optic crew working underground earlier that day, near the building. It is known that there is a natural gas line running under the Old Market, near M’s Pub, that could possibly have been damaged while the crew was working. It is not certain that the fiber-optic crew was at fault or that a gas leak was the cause of the fire due to the fact that the building is too dangerous to be examined. However, it might never get to be examined with the state that it is currently in.
The entire shell of the building, and whatever is left inside, is held together only by a thick layer of ice decorated with highly dangerous icicles. Because of this, the entire block is marked off so that no pedestrians can get injured. The Fire Chief stated that if the outside temperature rises too quickly and the ice melts at a quick pace, there is no chance of saving the already damaged building and could possibly cause other buildings to be damaged as well. The owners of the Pub are trying to stay optimistic however, and have been saying that there could be a chance of only having to remodel and mend the damages. But, if the building does end up having to be completely rebuilt, it will take close to 2 years. Omaha’s residents are eagerly awaiting more reports about what happened to their beloved restaurant and what is in store for it’s future.