BLAINE, Minn. - Investigators say careless disposal of smoking materials triggered a fire that gutted a popular bar-restaurant in Blaine Friday.
Crews were called to Ole Piper Inn on the 1400 block of 93rd Lane Northeast just off Central Avenue around 3:30 a.m. on a report of smoke coming from the building. Shortly after arrival they radioed that it was a working fire.
Surveillance video recovered from the structure shows an employee in the back of the restaurant throwing the contents of an ash tray into a trash can. Investigators say less than 10 minutes later smoke had built up, and the trash can and surrounding area were engulfed by flames.
Those flames then jumped to the main structure, causing significant damage.
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