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St. Joseph man arrested in Press Bar fire investigation

by Mike Knaak

At St. Joseph man was arrested Feb. 29 after investigators determined the fire that destroyed a downtown St. Cloud bar was deliberately set.

Authorities arrested Andy Welsh, owner of the Press Bar and Parlor, on pending arson-related charges and booked him into Stearns County Jail.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ National Response Team, the St. Cloud Fire Department, St. Cloud Police Department and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office collectively made the determination that the fire was intentionally set, according to a statement from the agencies.

Fire broke out early on the morning of Feb. 17 in the 100-year-old building. Despite a daylong effort by firefighters, fire destroyed the 100-year-old building with damage estimated at more than $1 million. Investigators blocked off surrounding streets while they dug through the rubble at the corner of Fifth Avenue and St. Germain Street.

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