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Suspicious fire damages Alexandria antique business

Authorities were back at the scene of a possible arson fire this morning. The fire happened late last night at Off Broadway Antiques. (Echo Press photo by Lowell Anderson)

A fire - described as a possible arson - caused extensive damage at Off Broadway Antiques at 201 6th Avenue East in Alexandria last night.

It also triggered evacuations and left the tenants in two upstairs apartments without a home.

At 11:06 p.m. Thursday, Alexandria police and fire departments responded to a call about a fire in a bathroom located in an apartment above Off Broadway Antiques (across the street from Koep's Korner).

When firefighters arrived, they found the main floor of the building fully engulfed. They determined that the fire had actually started on the main floor of the business and had spread to the ceiling or upstairs floor of the residential apartments.

The two apartments were evacuated, along with numerous other apartments located in the 200 block of 6th Avenue East.

The fire was contained to the Off Broadway Antiques building and did not spread to any of the other businesses on the block.

No one was injured in the blaze and tenants have been displaced. Their housing and other needs are being met by the local American Red Cross.

Authorities described the smoke, fire and water damage as extensive.

The Minnesota Fire Marshal was called in to assist in the investigation, which determined that the fire is a "possible arson," according to Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels.

The police department and the fire marshal are continuing to investigate the cause and origin of the fire.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Alexandria Police Department at (320) 763-6631.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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