Minneapolis crews battle fire at vacant apartment building

Minneapolis crews are battling a fire at a vacant apartment building early Thursday morning. 

The fire started just before midnight at the corner of Fifth Avenue South and 19th Street, just south of downtown. 

Firefighters say flames were burning from the top floor of the boarded-up building. Crews tried to put out the fire from inside, but they had to get out when the top floor started to collapse. 

As of 5:45 a.m., crews are still battling the blaze. Minneapolis Deputy Fire Chief Staffan Swanson believes squatters likely sparked the fire. Officials said several boards that were supposed to cover first-floor windows had been tampered with or removed. 

"When we got here, and got the doors open, a lot of squatters came pouring out, about 15 to 20," explained Swanson. "Yeah they were able to get in there, and something got away from somebody."

Firefighters say there are no known injuries, but the entire building has yet to be checked. 

The cause of the fire will be investigated, and officials noted that the building has had several previous fires. 

Crews battled another apartment fire in Fridley on Wednesday night. Officials said the blaze displaced people from 27 units.  

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Crews battling a fire at a vacant apartment building in Minneapolis.

From: FOX 9