Minneapolis, MN saloon fire, Jan 1897



The Place Was Litered With Inflammable Stuff Used in Packing Goods.

There is a curious state of affairs at 312 Fourth street. The lower portion of the building has been occupied for some months by Thomas Moore as a saloon. Moore is the same Moore whose check was worth a lot of money in Minneapolis not so very long ago. He was formerly a proprietor of a gilded refectory on lower Nicollet avenue, and the place was a money-maker. Moore's inability to cope with the rigors of business, depression appears to have been chiefly responsible for his failure at the old stand, and he went to St. Louis.

On his return to Minneapolis Moore secured from F. B. Forman of the Forman, Ford Co., the building at 312 Fourth street, an the place was elaborately fitted up. The woodwork is of light oak and there are mirrors enough to gratify the vanity of even the most exacting sultans. Incidentally a stock of liquors was put in and Moore was himself again for a time at least.

It appears, however, that worshippers at his former shrine didn't take as kindly to the Fourth street quarters, and business was none of the best. Some of Moore's friends assert that he had hard sledding to make the thing go, and that his late business was not a paying one. At all events, the promises so lately resonant with Hibernian song and sentiment are vacant this morning; Moore is absent; and the building is in possession of Mr. Forman.

Very early this morning it was found that the front door of the premises occupied by Mr. Moore up to a few hours before was encircled in flames. Heaps of straw that littered the front step had resolved themselves into blackened masses, while the paint and woodwork of the entrance bore evidence of a bad scorching. On an entrance being forced, it was found that no fire had penetrated the interior of the place. A bale or so of straw was scattered about the barrom [sic] and parlor, but no sign of fire was to be seen. A report was circulated that Moore had tried to set fire to the place after moving out his stock and furnishings, but this view is not borne out in the external evidence.

Mr. Forman said this morning that he did not believe any attempt at incendiarism could be charged to his late tenant. He added that the key had been turned over to him by Moore's agent without any irregularity. The rent had been paid up to the first of the month, and there seemed no reason for making charges o such flimsy evidence. Apparently, the fire on the outside, which attracted attention after Moore had left, may have been set by any drunken or malicious passer. There was a considerable quantity of straw scattered about in packing the stock and furnishings prior to their removal, but as the fire had not penetrated the interior, Mr. Forman thought it would be unfair to charge an attempt at incendiarism against Moore. The whereabouts of the latter is at present unknown, but he is not in Minneapolis. It is not known whither the stock was removed.

The Minneapolis Journal, Minneapolis, MN 11 Jan 1897