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Businesses burned in overnight fire in north Minneapolis, witnesses believe it was 'firebombed'

This is away from where protests and riots have occurred since the death of George Floyd.
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Multiple businesses were burned in a fire in north Minneapolis overnight. 

The blaze was reported at a strip mall at 44th Ave. N. and Penn Ave. N., with Minneapolis Fire Department Deputy Chief Kathleen Mullen telling WCCO that residents in the area believe someone drove behind the back of the building and threw something on the roof before the businesses erupted into flames. 

That corroborates what a local resident in the area told Bring Me The News. 

"My black friend’s business was fire bombed around 2 a.m. We had guards up at the intersection. They were doing rounds, as soon as they got half a block away someone pulled up through the alley and threw something on the roof and sped away," she said.

"The MFD was onsite within 2mins, but it still looks like it will be a complete loss, so there had to have been some sort of high powered accelerant to do that much damage."

WCCO reports that four businesses were destroyed, though the Star Tribune says the strip mall was partially destroyed, but that it was home to four businesses, including Mailbox Solutions Plus store, a cellphone store and a barber shop.

Damage from the fire. 

Damage from the fire. 

The location of the fire in the Victory neighborhood, several miles away from any protesting over the death of George Floyd, adds to the growing reports that there are groups of instigators targeting different parts of the Twin Cities and setting fires.

Businesses on West Broadway – again, nowhere near the protests – were also set on fire Thursday and Friday.

The Mailbox Solutions Store had been targeted for vandalism earlier in the unrest, and had boards over its windows that said "black owned."

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The same Victory resident who told us about the fire said locals have been finding gas cans in their yards, cars have been tearing through their streets, and armed people have been seen in the area.

The fire happened after Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Sunday that authorities have discovered "caches of incendiaries" and a "cache of stolen vehicles" that the vandals are using.

It's not yet been officially confirmed that this fire was arson, but Mullen told WCCO it seems that way.

This is a developing story. 

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