Explosion rocks Old Market, fire burns for hours

Posted at 3:14 PM, Jan 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-11 11:50:19-05

M’s Pub suffered damage from an apparent explosion on Saturday afternoon. It has affected the entire building where the restaurant is located on 11th Street in the Old Market.

WITNESS: M's Pub employee says she knew something wasn't right

Crews upgraded the incident to a second-alarm fire just before 4 p.m. due to the extent of the fire and need to evacuate nearby residents, according to Omaha Fire Chief Bernard Kanger. The fire was later upgraded to a third-alarm fire around 7:30 p.m.

Kanger says as of 6:15 p.m. the fire is not considered under control and firefighters are in a defensive position.

The Chief says there has been a partial collapse of the basement under M's Pub which is making the attack more difficult. The building is more than 100 years old. 

Fire crews have also reported numerous equipment issues as temperatures continued to drop Saturday night.

KMTV reporter Nick Starling reported seeing a Salvation Army van arrive just after 6:00 p.m. Chief Kanger says they will be assisting with a rehab area for firefighters.

So far, one person has been confirmed transported to Nebraska Medicine with injuries from that explosion. There have been no reports of anyone who was eating or working inside the restaurant suffering major injuries. 

PHOTOS: M's Pub catches fire in the Old Market

Flames and smoke could be seen from several blocks away. Crews have established a perimeter in the Old Market. 

OPPD as well as MUD are at the scene. The Metropolitan Utilities District confirms they shut off gas to the building around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

Several nearby buildings were evacuated as a precaution. Fire eventually spread to condos above the pub, forcing those residents out of their homes. The Red Cross has been at the scene to assist those displaced.

Much of the Old Market area remains closed Saturday night to both traffic and those coming to take a look on foot.

As for a cause, Chief Kanger says it's just too early to tell, but fire investigators are at the scene beginning their investigation.

Stay tuned to KMTV and for live team coverage from the Old Market.

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Previous Coverage:

Crews are working a fire in the Old Market district of downtown Omaha.

KMTV reporter Nick Starling tweeted he was in the area and felt and heard an explosion near M's Pub. He reports crews are telling people to stay clear of the area.


If you were in the area or have photos from of the fire, post them on social media using #KMTV or send them to 

KMTV Action 3 News has crews at the scene. Refresh this page and download the KMTV mobile app for the latest.