The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

September 13, 2013

Winona firefighters work to contain downtown blaze

WINONA, Minn. (AP) — Firefighters are working to contain a blaze that has burned several downtown buildings in Winona.

Winona Fire Chief Curt Bittle says the Islamic Center caught fire about 2 a.m. Friday and the blaze quickly spread to other buildings.

Police say dozens of residents from apartments on the upper floors of some downtown buildings have been evacuated. The Winona Daily News (http://bit.ly/189zm8d ) says there are no reports of injuries.

Buildings that house Brosnahan Law Firm, Blooming Grounds Coffeehouse and Sole Sport are among those that are burning. Bittle says the hodgepodge construction of the old buildings, which are connected, could easily cause the fire to spread.

Heavy smoke continues to billow from the burning buildings as the Red Cross assists those who fled from apartments.

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Information from: Winona Daily News, http://www.winonadailynews.com

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