Fire destroys apartment, barbershop in north Minneapolis

A barbershop and apartment in north Minneapolis were destroyed in a fire on Sept. 24, 2020. (FOX 9)

A fire in north Minneapolis destroyed an apartment and barbershop Thursday. While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, the building owner is concerned the fire was intentionally set.

Around noon, a neighbor says he heard what sounded like a loud knock. He looked out his window and started recording. The flames were high, the heat intense. The building owner had just left, but his wife was home.  

“It just boom and went like crazy and my wife heard it, smoke all over the place, she could barely get out almost,” said Howard Gangestad, the building owner.

Fire crews responded right away to the building at the corner of N Dowling Avenue and N Queen Avenue, but the fire was already raging.

“It was pretty extensive, there’s a lot of overhaul work,” said Minneapolis Fire Battalion Chief Joe Mattison. “It got into the walls. Folks had to work hard to go in there and chase it and be able to extinguish the fire.”

Fire investigators are still determining the cause of the fire. Gangestad has lived in the upstairs apartment for 21 years. He’s a longtime President Donald Trump supporter who flies several Trump flags that are now burned. He says he has had trouble in the past.

“Last election, I had a big Trump sign in that window and they threw a brick through it,” said Gangestad.

Firefighters say smoke detectors were working and everyone got out safely.