Owre Hall fire an accident, investigators say

The cause of the Owre Hall fire on Tuesday was ruled accidental, said Lt. Rick Nelson, a Minneapolis Fire Department investigator.
Owre Hall, located at the corner of Delaware and Church streets, caught fire early Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters extinguished the blaze within an hour. Owre Hall is being demolished to make way for the Cellular and Molecular Biology building.
Nelson said investigators have not determined the exact cause of the fire.
“The workers may have been using a cutting torch, or it could have just been friction from the demolition work they were doing,” Nelson said. “It could have been almost anything.”
Tim Busse, a University spokesperson, said an investigation is still underway to determine the extent of the damage to adjacent Jackson Hall.
Though the fire did not spread to Jackson Hall, the building did sustain an undetermined amount of water damage, officials said.
Busse said he expects the investigation to be concluded by the beginning of next week.

Mike Wereschagin welcomes comments at [email protected]