ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A fire broke out overnight in St. Paul, destroying a barbershop, grocery store and an apartment upstairs.

The fire department says both people who live in the building are accounted for and were not home at the time of the fire, but the fire department is still trying to verify no one else was inside.

Right now, the Department of Safety and Inspections is helping St. Paul Fire inspect the building to see what happens next with the structure.

Officials say the fire started just before 10 last night, and firefighters have been there ever since.

When firefighters arrived to the Clean Cuts barbershop on the 600 block of Selby Avenue, they did an initial search of the building. They didn’t find anyone inside, but they did find a cat that died.

Normally, firefighters do a second search, but the fire was too hot and too dangerous. They were forced to evacuate the building, taking a defensive stance, which means they fought the fire from the outside.

This fire was so big and burned for so long that neighbors down the block said they could see the flames from their attic.

“It’s really amazing how much smoke,” said neighbor Nancy Barden. “We expected this morning to see nothing left of that building.”

Firefighters are still on scene in an effort to continue their investigation.

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