MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The flames from a Minneapolis business fire shot a hundred feet in the air early Thursday morning.
North American Carrousel is a total loss. While you might not know the name of the building at the corner of 28th Street East and 27th Avenue North in Minneapolis, you might have seen some of what this company has been making for decades.
There was nothing left after the blaze. Fire crews have been at the scene the whole day tearing the building down, and fire investigators want to know exactly how the fire started.
South Minneapolis residents looking for a wake-up call, didn’t need the sun to get them up. Flames from the family business did the job.
“It was pretty incredible this morning when you saw it,” said John Zarling, who witnessed the fire. “Flames from here all the way down. Everything was just up in flames.”
Zarling remembers seeing firefighters trying to get into the building, but they had a tough time doing it. In fact, the second they did get in, they realized they were in danger.
“Once they got in, it was determined the fire had been burning long enough. There was concern about the structural integrity of the building so the crews were evacuated out,” said Assistant Minneapolis Fire Chief Cherie Penn.
Then the roof on the North American Carousel collapsed. As many as 35 firefighters tried to save the place, but could not. The rides and games the owner made were part of the Renaissance Festival. There were 15 in all, including the knife throwing exhibit.
He handcrafted amusement rides, holiday displays and more. His best known work at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is Piccolo Pony, a 20-foot tall ride. You could also see his works in malls.
The business has been around for more than 30 years, and now it’s gone. The one thing that can’t be taken is what the owner has done for family, and the memories he’s made for them throughout the years.
Nobody was hurt in this fire and the exact cause of the blaze remains under investigation.