A week after a popular St. Cloud bar was destroyed by fire, another outstate restaurant and bar – and other businesses – have been destroyed by a fire.
The early Tuesday fire is believed to have originated at or near Raapers Eatery and Ale at the corner of Fifth Ave. and Broadway in downtown Alexandria, with the Echo Press reporting that the blaze has also destroyed three other businesses: a tattoo parlor, home decor store and a children's clothing boutique.
A backhoe has been used to demolish parts of the building that were severely damaged in the fire, the report says.
"Thank you to everyone that has reached out. We will be filling everyone in and getting everyone rescheduled as soon as we get things figured out!" RM Tattoo & Body Piercing said in a Facebook post.
Apartments in the area were also evacuated. Alexandria Police Captain Scott Kent told the Voice of Alexandria that there were no known injuries and that displaced residents are being helped by the Red Cross and Salvation Army at the Alexandria Fire Department.
A bus was used to help transport displaced residents to the fire department, with one person on the bus telling Nikki Knight of KIKV 100.7 FM that fire victims had to rush out of their apartments, some without socks and one man without a shirt. All of them were provided clothing once they arrived at the fire station.
Just after 5:45 a.m., MnDOT announced that Hwy. 29 in downtown Alexandria was closed because of the structure fire, with traffic being re-routed on local streets.
We'll update the story as more information becomes available.