Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fire crews kept an eye on two businesses overnight that were destroyed by an intense fire in southwest Minneapolis.
Flames broke out at about 6 p.m. Thursday at Beek’s Pizza and Diamond Lake Rental, causing quite a scene. The businesses are in the busy area near 54th and Lyndale Avenue South, right across from a Kowalski’s grocery store.
Once the fire was reported, it quickly spread to a three-alarm blaze as multiple crews responded. We’re told there were people inside the building when the fire started, and they got out safely.
The extremely cold temperatures made it tough for firefighters as many ended up with their gear caked in ice. One firefighter slipped on the ice and was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Some neighbors described the flames shooting as high as 30 feet at times.
“They were up past the billboards on top of that building and then there’d be nothing. Then 10 minutes later it would start up stronger than it was before,” said Terra Widdfield, a neighbor in the area.
“It’s an old, old building so it’s got to be a tinderbox,” said Kenn Davies-Larson. “Very dry wood, that’s why it’s going up so strong right now.”
Beek’s Pizza has been open at this location for 50 years and is family-owned. They have other locations in the Twin Cities. There is no word on a cause yet, and investigators will be back at the scene Friday to try and come up with answers.