Reward offered for Minneapolis vacant apartment fire cause information

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information connected to a fire at an apartment building on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis on Saturday.

Just after 6 a.m. on Dec. 3, Minneapolis Fire Department crews responded to a report of smoke coming from a four-story apartment building located on the 2300 block of Lyndale Avenue South.

Upon arrival, firefighters saw heavy smoke coming from the second floor and found fires on two floors. Firefighters searched and evacuated the building, which was supposed to be vacant, but was found to have, "several squatters inside," according to the fire department. One person reportedly jumped from the second-floor window.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), in conjunction with the Minneapolis Fire Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division are now offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information related to the fire, hoping to find information and determine its cause.

"Our intent for the reward is to expedite the investigation by helping to narrow down possible causes, all of which is a part of our investigative process," Special Agent William McCrary of the St. Paul Field Division said in a statement. "We encourage people who have valuable information to come forward and help bring this investigation to a successful conclusion."

It’s the second major fire this year at an abandoned building owned by landlord C. David George. Public records show George owns at least four apartment buildings in Minneapolis. Questions have since arisen over his responsibility and maintenance of the properties.

A determination has not yet been made about what started the fire.