Downtown Fire Investigation
Winona fire officials say they now know where a September 13th fire started that destroyed buildings in the downtown area but are not sure exactly how it started.
Assistant Fire Chief Jim Multhaup told Winona Radio News they are 100-percent sure the fire originated between the ceiling and roof of the Winona Islamic Center. Multhaup said that while there was speculation the fire was electrical in nature no final ruling on the cause was made following an extensive investigation Wednesday.
Multhaup said it's not believed arson played any role and that the fire was not intentionally set.
Representatives from the state fire marshall's office, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and private insurance agencies were at the scene Wednesday for about seven hours as firefighters were digging through the debris.
The fire destroyed three historic buildings and damaged several others.
Multhaup said now that the fire department has closed its investigation, the affected property owners can now deal with their insurance companies to determine when repairs and further cleanup can take place.
The Islamic Center and the Brosnahan Law Office sustained the most extensive damage........