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2 townhouse fires under investigation in Woodbury; man in underwear who stole bike hospitalized

It's unclear if the man who stole the bike has anything to do with the second fire.

Woodbury police are investigating a pair of townhouse fires that resulted in multiple families being displaced from their homes and one person riding a stolen bicycle in his underwear taken to a hospital. 

The first townhouse fire happened Dec. 6 around 9:15 p.m. on the 400 block of Woodduck Place. Fire crews from Woodbury, Oakdale and Cottage Grove were able to extinguish the flames, but several families were displaced. 

Detectives and fire marshals are investigating the blaze, with a statement from Woodbury Police Commander John Altman saying investigators are examining evidence and interviewing residents. 

"We are thankful that no one was injured as a result of this fire, and hopeful that their homes will be restored soon," Altman said. 

A GoFundMe for one family displaced by the blaze says the fire "ravaged through the roof and floors," destroying textbooks, laptops, TVs and clothing of four children who lived in the unit. Another unit that was badly damaged was home to a mother and three children, the online fundraiser explains. 

2nd fire followed by report of man in underwear stealing a bike

The second townhouse fire happened Dec. 7 on the 2100 block of Vining Drive. First responders arrived at the scene and found a vehicle parked in a tuck-under garage that was fully engulfed in flames.

At about the same time, Altman said "a resident reported that a bicycle was stolen by an adult male who was wearing only underwear." He was found a few blocks away and transported to Regions Hospital. Altman said the man was the resident of the unit that caught fire. 

That fire was contained to one unit and is also under investigation. Altman says the fires are not connected. 

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