30 January 2010

Pizza Man Fire Ruled Arson

Below is a press release from the City of Milwaukee and and a link to the ATF (Federal Government) Press Release.

"Attached please find a joint release from the ATF along with the Milwaukee Police Department and other agencies investigating the fire that destroyed Pizza Man and other North Avenue businesses on January 19, 2010.
We hope you will share this information with all in the hopes that someone will come forward with information to help solve this crime.
Thank you."
Anne E. Schwartz
Office of Media & Communications
Milwaukee Police Department

Click for ATF Press Release

 I generally never place blame but I am going to place bets that the source of arson is the Black & White Cafe.  My gut instinct comes from a couple of on site TV interviews with one of the owners.  The owner was sitting inside his car and appeared to be expressionless and nervous, not the distraught, devistated condition that most people would be in.  Personally you wouldn't find me in a car staying warm - you would find me outside in a panicked and emmotionally drained stupor.  And like most people in a similar situation I would not talk in a mostly calm manner.  I have heard from a cousin of mine whom knew somebody that lived upstairs, that preson heard exlplosions after the smoke was discovered and the alarm went off.  I knew from the very start that there was foul play, as an architect I can confirm that a building such as that, with occupants such as theirs and close proximity to more than one fire station, could not have been totally devistated by a real accidental fire.

I, as well as thousands of others out there, hope that the arsonists are found and prosecuted to the fullist extent of the law.  It is a sick mind of anyone that willfully wanted to do that much damage and at 4 a.m. put that many human lives at risk.  Fortunately the fire alarm system worked in the building and everyone left safely.

28 January 2010

East Side Fire Devistates Community

About a week ago a fire destroyed a Milwaukee East Side Landmark, four businesses and ten apartments.  It is sad for the businesses, one of which has been in the same location for over twenty years - Pizza Man Restraunt.  The building was also the ideal urban mixed use building on a busy street corner with retail at sidwalk level and apartments above.  It was originally built in the 1920's in the Mediterranean Revival style and was in above average condition.  The building has had a long time owner who apparently kept the lease rates modest and because of this the restraunts that occupied the building were local, family owned establishments. It is sad to see the devastation and hopefully the businesses will either rebuild or locate nearby.  For more information please read the from The Daily Reporter "Fire Takes a Slice Out of Milwaukee Street".  For a Google map click here.