By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A massive fire spread to several buildings in Minneapolis last night.

Crews were called to a building at 24th & Central Avenues in Northeast just before 5 p.m. The initial call was where El Taco Riendo restaurant and apartments are located.

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The fire reportedly spread to neighboring buildings.

WCCO’s Reg Chapman shows us how the community is coping.

“We are trying to put this out and trying to save as much as these structures as we can,” Chief Fuetal said.

People from across the neighborhood came out to watch crews work Sunday night, many returned Monday.

“It’s a very sad thing to see,” Walter Nielsen said.

Walter Nielsen has lived in Northeast for 15 years. He is amazed at the number of businesses impacted by this fire.

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“All these businesses, they cater to the different ethnic groups that are in the neighborhood and now, of course, they’re going to suffer some of them,” Nielsen said.

Eight businesses in all were touched by fire, smoke and water. Taco Riendo was hit hard.

Jose Alvarado-Valesquez is part owner of Taco Riendo. He runs the second location in Crystal.

“The people yesterday, they cry and ask what happened oh my God it’s terrible,” Alvarado-Valesquez said.

Jose says many in the community have come to appreciate the business in its eleven years in Northeast.

Five people who lived above the restaurant are displaced and are getting help from the American Red Cross. Sixteen employees are also out of work. The owners hope to rebuild and continue to be part of what makes Northeast Minneapolis special.

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Two GoFundMe sites have been set up so far to help victims:

  • A help for El Taco Riendo Minneapolis
  • Help Our Edison Tommie, Michael Matherne
  • Reg Chapman