NEW HOPE, Minn. - Investigators have quickly determined a fire that chased residents out of an apartment building late Tuesday is a case of arson.
Fire crews were dispatched around 11:00 p.m. to the 8100 block of 45th Ave North on reports of a fire inside the stairwell of the Tradewinds apartment building.
The fire was quickly put out and no one was hurt, but residents from 15 to 20 apartment units were temporarily displaced due to smoke and water damage. Red Cross officials say 11 families are being assisted.
"It takes time. You have to do a lot of digging, a lot of interviews, work together as a team between the State Fire Marshal’s Office, New Hope Police Department. We all work together and it just takes time," said Shelby Wolf, Deputy Fire Marshal for West Metro Fire and Rescue.
Wolf said the apartment complex used its fire doors and that helped prevent the fire from spreading. Also, it had a new smoke alarm system installed before the fire, which helped alert everyone.
Investigators announced Wednesday morning that the fire was purposely set, and that a reward of up to $2,500 is offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone who knows the person responsible is asked to call 1-800-723-2020.