Cause of house fires near Minneapolis encampment remain undetermined

Fires that started in the early morning hours of July 20 in Minneapolis destroyed three homes and one garage, but the cause of their start remains undetermined.

According to the Minneapolis Fire Department, they were called to the 2800 block of 14th Avenue South on a report of a house fire around 3:50 a.m. on July 20. When fire crews arrived on scene, they initially found a home fully engulfed in flames.

In total three homes, located at 2815, 2817 and 2819 14th Ave. S in Minneapolis, were affected by the fires. One garage was also destroyed.

According to authorities, the initial heat source at 2815 14th Ave. S was not able to be identified. As a result, the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Previously, neighbors have placed the blame for the blaze on a nearby homeless encampment — one they say they've complained to the city about constantly for months.

Within 12 hours of the fire, the encampment at 29th Street and 14th Avenue South was closed by Minneapolis city workers and police, citing significant public safety and health concerns.