St. Paul couple Mark and Mary Ann Davis had no more sat down with their beers at Downtown's Fine Line Music Caf Feb. 17 when Mary Ann noticed both the audience and band looking toward the ceiling.
"There was a really interesting pattern on the ceiling in fire. It was like a cross hatch over the stage and it was on fire," Mary Ann Davis said.
She missed the actual pyrotechnic display set off by a band called The Jet City Fix Feb. 17.
Davis said within a minute everyone calmly evacuated the building and watched the fire from across the street. "It was not in the least bit scary to me," she said. "There was a press at the door right as I exited, but no one was shouting or screaming."
What was more upsetting to the Davises was that Mark missed seeing one of his favorite guitarists, Link Wray, the night's headline act.
"My husband really enjoys Link Wray. He was hoping it was just a minor fire they could put out with an extinguisher and the show would go on," she said. "But it obviously got worse."
In addition to the charred ceiling above the stage, the space was so waterlogged from sprinklers that pooling water broke through first-floor ceilings.
Fine Line owner Dario Anselmo said the 318 1st Ave. N. club had adequate insurance to cover the loss and is expected to reopen in a month.