Three buildings a total loss in Winona Fire - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Three buildings a total loss in Winona Fire

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Winona, Minnesota (WXOW) - The Winona Fire Department says three buildings are a total loss in the downtown area, following a fire early Friday morning.

The fire broke out around 2 a.m. at Center and Third Streets. Winona Fire Chief Curt Bittle says he suspects the fire started in the Islamic Center, but added the starting point and source have yet to be determined. The Minnesota fire marshal will investigate.

Fire Fighters say the Islamic Center, Brosnahan Law Firm and Sole Sport are a total loss. The Islamic Center has already been torn down and officials say they will do the same to the other buildings. The Blooming Grounds Coffee House and Pretty Things on Third also received fire damage. Officials have not said how bad the damage is at this time.

The buildings were not only used for business. There are several apartments on upper floors. A Winona State Student who lives above the Brosnahan Law Firm says he lost everything in the fire. The student said he will be housed in a dorm on campus.

Officials said about a dozen people were living in apartments above the affected buildings. The Red Cross is assisting those people and putting them up in hotels. Some of the tenants are Winona State Students. Those students are being placed in open dorms on campus.

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.

No injuries have been reported. The case of the fire is under investigation.

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