Massive fire destroys four buildings in Alexandria, Minnesota

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (AP) – Investigators worked to learn what caused a massive fire that wiped out part of downtown Alexandria in western Minnesota.

More than 100 firefighters from six communities battled a blaze Tuesday that destroyed RM Tattoo, Raapers Eatery & Ale, Charlie’s Bazaar and Little Darlings Children’s Boutique.

About two dozen tenants who lived in apartments above the stores were evacuated safely.

City spokeswoman Sarah Stadtherr says firefighters used a drone with thermal imaging for the first time. It allowed them to locate hot spots and more effectively use their hoses.

Carlette Vernlund, who owns Charlie’s Bazaar, says she’ll be meeting with her insurance agent this week to determine how to proceed.