ST. CLOUD, Minn.. (FOX 9) - After a massive fire broke out at a St. Cloud bar earlier this month, investigators have ruled the fire was an arson and now the ATF says the owner has been taken into custody.
Nearly two weeks after the fire ripped through the bar, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Saturday its investigation found the Press Bar fire had been intentionally set.
The fire ripped through the 100-year-old building on February 17 not long after the bar had closed. Crews worked overnight to knock down flames but ultimately the bar was considered a total loss.
The Press Bar, a popular bar in downtown St. Cloud, Minnesota, is likely a total loss after an early morning fire. (Jodi Lind Kuehn / FOX 9)
Investigators worked for days before bringing in the ATF's National Response Team, which investigates serious arsons and bombings, to assist local crews.
Authorities say the business owner, identified as Andy Welsh of St. Joseph, Minnesota, was taken into custody on Saturday. At this point, the owner is being held in Stearns County Jail but hasn't yet been charged.
The ATF says they are withholding further details on the case as the investigation is continuining.