Fire destroys north Minneapolis landmark building - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Fire destroys north Minneapolis landmark building

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Smoke could be seen for miles in north Minneapolis as a huge fire broke out at a neighborhood store on the corner of Lowry Ave. and Emerson Ave. Saturday morning.

The fire spread to two other businesses before crews could get it under control.

Neighbors spent hours in the pouring rain, fanning the smoke and watching a landmark building burn. They admit the store on the corner of Lowry and Emerson had it's share of trouble, but they worry the loss could make matters even worse.

"I live in this neighborhood, I work in this neighborhood and for this store to be in this condition it's devastating to this neighborhood," said neighbor Selure Bryant.

Firefighters struggled to battle the flames shooting from the building.

"The fire traveled from the basement and into the loft," said Chief Richard Christiansen. "They tried to chase it for about 20 minutes and they couldn't get ahead of it."

Firefighters say crews got everyone out from the apartments above the store, but they couldn't stop the fire from spreading to the businesses next door. Smoke and water damage claimed Chicago Grill and a Chinese restaurant.

"He lost everything…he lost everything," said B.K. Arora, a friend of the Chicago Grill owner.

Neighbors are sympathetic, but they also said the corner tended to attract drug dealers and criminals.

"It's going to stop a whole lot of going-on on the north side," neighbor Rashawanda Sistrunk said.

Investigators say so far, the fire doesn't appear suspicious.

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