Winona, MINNESOTA (WXOW) – The Winona Fire Department said the fire that destroyed three buildings downtown started between the ceiling and roof of the Islamic Center.
The fire was discovered early on Friday, September 13th at the center at the intersection of Center and Third Streets.
Winona Assistant Fire Chief Jim Multhaup said investigators determined the fire was probably smoldered for several hours before anyone was able to detect it. The fire was reported around 2 a.m. Multhaup said they believe the fire began with an electrical malfunction, but officials said they cannot pinpoint a cause, since the building had to be torn down.
The Islamic Center, Brosnahan Law Firm and Sole Sport are a total loss. The Blooming Grounds Coffee House and Pretty Things on Third also received fire damage.
The buildings were not only used for business. There were several apartments on upper floors. Officials said about a dozen people were living in apartments above the affected buildings.
The large fire took Winona crews more than six hours to contain. Several local agencies were called in to assist including the Wilson Fire Department, St. Charles Fire Department, Goodview Fire Department and Pickwick Fire Department.
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