Faulty wiring/heating might have sparked Maxwell’s blaze

Updated: March 7, 2008 - 3:35 pm

Maxwell’s fire caused nearly $1 million in damage

Investigators have yet to nail down the source of the Feb. 20 blaze that gutted the century-old Maxwell’s bar and restaurant building at 1203 Washington Ave. S, but they don’t think it was arson and said faulty wiring or heating might have been a cause.

The building sustained an estimated $800,000 in damage, and at least four residents lost $100,000 in items, according to investigators.
No one was seriously injured, but one cat died.

Minneapolis Fire crews responded to the call in 3 minutes, 38 seconds, according to a city spokesperson.

To view video of Maxwell’s fire scene, visit the multimedia section of this website.

The city has also started looking for someone to replace Minneapolis Fire Chief Jim Clack, who is leaving for the Baltimore Fire Department.

Soon, Mayor R.T. Rybak will announce an interim fire chief, the city’s third chief in two years.

The interim candidate is scheduled to be confirmed at the March 26 Minneapolis Executive Committee meeting, which Rybak chairs. The candidate will be chosen – in all likelihood – from a pool including the city’s eight deputy chiefs, and two assistant chiefs – Alex Jackson and John Fruetel.

An interim chief would serve until a permanent chief is named. Mayor Rybak will interview candidates in mid-April and has plans to nominate a new permanent fire chief later that month.

The City Council has to approve of the nominee.