TV Station Shares In Depth Look Behind The Press Bar Arson Investigation
THE PRESS BAR
It's hard to believe that it's been years since the fire that destroyed The Press bar and the businesses around it happened. What's even harder to believe is that the owner of the bar Andrew Welsh was arrested for starting the fire. No one wants to believe that one of our own could have, or would have done this.
6 YEAR SENTENCE
Although Welsh pleaded guilty to the crime and is serving a 6-year sentence, he says he is innocent, and that it is all a government setup. So where does the truth lie? Was he set up? State and Federal investigators explained to Channel 5 news, about the red flags surrounding the event. You can watch the video below for the full story.
EVIDENCE REMAINS AFTER FIRE
The video explains that most people think the evidence is destroyed in a fire, but it isn't. The Investigators explained how they discovered where the fire started. It wasn't on ground level. The legs of Welsh's desk weren't destroyed in the fire. Because fires burn upward, the fire must have started above that point. That's when they brought in a dog that detected traces of accelerant in a 'pour pattern' on the desk. They also found 'Ronsonol lighter fuel' in Welsh's vehicle.
Other evidence shows that Welsh was in serious financial trouble at the time, and stood to collect approximately $2 million dollars from insurance. According to the news report, Welsh said, "The government put out all this fake news...and everybody believes it and runs with it. They're really good at lying, and that's all I'm going to say."
St. Cloud street cameras captured videos showing that Welsh was the last person to leave the bar after 2 am. Tim Anderson, who was a bartender at the Press Bar, said it was unusual that he stayed that late because they weren't busy that night.
Welsh's attorney said that his client felt like his life was falling apart, and only set the building on fire after taking steps to make sure no one was there.