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Part of a strip mall went up in flames in north Minneapolis’ Victory neighborhood early Monday morning.

Crews were called to the intersection of N. 44th and Penn avenues around 1 a.m. to find flames shooting out of a structure containing three businesses.

The complex contains a Mailbox Solutions Plus store, a cellphone store and a barber shop.

A pair of videos posted to the Victory Neighborhood Facebook page showed flames shooting out of the top of the building.

“We saw heavy smoke coming out of the building,” said James Nicknam, who posted a live stream of the scene of Facebook. “The rear of the building is torched. I live up the street and I’ve never seen anything like that in the neighborhood.”

It was not immediately clear whether the fire was related to the rash of fires that broke out across the Twin Cities over the weekend in connection with protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody last Monday evening.

A neighborhood group out on watch called in the fire, Nicknam said.

Michael Heikes, who lives nearby, heard sirens and drove to the scene. He also posted a live video.

“This is getting way too close, that is uneasy,” he said. “It is sad to see businesses having to go through this. I hope people who have that building can recover.”

The Fire Department was still on the scene at 5:30 a.m. and has not yet said how the fire started.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768