MINNEAPOLIS - A mid-afternoon three-alarm fire in downtown Minneapolis destroyed an apartment building that has stood since 1888.

The fire broke out around 2 p.m. Sunday in the 200-block of 9th Street South.

Situated in the shadows of the tallest buildings in downtown Minneapolis, not many knew of the three-story Oakland Apartments beyond the 12 families who lived there and Vikings fans who park in its lot on game-day.

But a Sunday afternoon fire gave the 127-year-old building a headline that may have spelled its end.

“I think it had a good head start on us when we got here,” said Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel.

Greg Davis was about to help his girlfriend move out of the third-floor corner apartment.

Neither of them were home when the fire started in that unit.

“With all the traffic from the game, I just happened to drive down this street and I got maybe a block away and saw the fire truck ladder. And I just, my worst fear, just to come and see this,” Davis said.

Minneapolis firefighters had to dump a lot of water on top of the red limestone and brick building to put down the flames, sending debris onto the cars below.

“Someone in front of me at the game, they said, oh there's a fire downtown, and I said, oh my gosh, that building looks like right where we parked,” said Tammy Rese from Owatonna.

Everyone made it out of the Oakland Apartments safely.

But the historic downtown building, overshadowed by its neighbors, may now be history.