Photos: The Winona fire

Disasters ·

1 Firefighters battle a blaze in several downtown buildings early Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, in Winona, Minn. Winona Fire Chief Curt Bittle says the Islamic Center caught fire early Friday morning and the blaze quickly spread to other buildings. Police say dozens of residents from apartments on the upper floors of some downtown buildings have been evacuated. Buildings that house Brosnahan Law Firm, Blooming Grounds Coffeehouse and Sole Sport are among those that are burning. Bittle says the hodgepodge construction of the old buildings, which are connected, could easily cause the fire to spread. 
2 Firefighters battle a blaze in several downtown buildings early Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, in Winona, Minn. Winona Fire Chief Curt Bittle says the Islamic Center caught fire early Friday morning and the blaze quickly spread to other buildings. Police say dozens of residents from apartments on the upper floors of some downtown buildings have been evacuated. Buildings that house Brosnahan Law Firm, Blooming Grounds Coffeehouse and Sole Sport are among those that are burning. Bittle says the hodgepodge construction of the old buildings, which are connected, could easily cause the fire to spread. 
3 Smoke fills the streets as firefighters battle a blaze in several buildings early Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, in Winona, Minn. Winona Fire Chief Curt Bittle says the Islamic Center caught fire early Friday morning and the blaze quickly spread to other buildings. Police say dozens of residents from apartments on the upper floors of some downtown buildings have been evacuated. Buildings that house Brosnahan Law Firm, Blooming Grounds Coffeehouse and Sole Sport are among those that are burning. Bittle says the hodgepodge construction of the old buildings, which are connected, could easily cause the fire to spread. 
4 A resident talks with firefighters as they battle a blaze in several downtown buildings early Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, in Winona, Minn. Winona Fire Chief Curt Bittle says the Islamic Center caught fire early Friday morning and the blaze quickly spread to other buildings. Police say dozens of residents from apartments on the upper floors of some downtown buildings have been evacuated. Buildings that house Brosnahan Law Firm, Blooming Grounds Coffeehouse and Sole Sport are among those that are burning. Bittle says the hodgepodge construction of the old buildings, which are connected, could easily cause the fire to spread. 
5 Firefighters battle a blaze in several downtown buildings early Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, in Winona, Minn. Winona Fire Chief Curt Bittle says the Islamic Center caught fire early Friday morning and the blaze quickly spread to other buildings. Police say dozens of residents from apartments on the upper floors of some downtown buildings have been evacuated. Buildings that house Brosnahan Law Firm, Blooming Grounds Coffeehouse and Sole Sport are among those that are burning. Bittle says the hodgepodge construction of the old buildings, which are connected, could easily cause the fire to spread. 
6 Firefighters at dawn work on the blaze in downtown Winona on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. 
7 Smoke engulfs the streets of downtown Winona, Minn., Friday morning, Sept. 13, 2013, as firefighters work to extinguish a fire that destroyed three buildings in the historical district. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
8 Firefighters use aerial hoses to combat a fire that destroyed three buildings in downtown Winona, Minn., Friday morning, Sept. 13, 2013. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
9 Brandon Hatten, a veteranary tech at a pet hospital, watches firefighters battle a fire from across the street in downtown Winona, Minn., Friday Sept. 13, 2013. The fire destroyed three buildings and forced officials to evacuate the entire block. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
10 Winona firefighters concentrate on knocking down hot spots. 
11 Water from fire hoses pours down at the front entrance to the Islamic Center of Winona. Fire crews and demolition equipment worked at the scene of a large fire that destroyed three buildings in downtown Winona, Minn., Friday morning, Sept. 13, 2013. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
12 Firefighters pour water on part of a fire that started in downtown Winona, Minn., early Friday morning, Sept. 13, 2013. 
13 Spectators, including Jennifer Weaver, center, watch the scene of a fire that destroyed three buildings and forced officials to evacuate the entire block in Winona, Minn., Friday Sept. 13, 2013 (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
14 Rubble fills the street after an overnight fire damaged buildings that house Brosnahan Law Firm, Sole Sport, Winona Islamic Center and Integrative Health are among those heavily damaged. 
15 Demolition crews arrive at the scene of a massive fire that destroyed numerous buildings in downtown Winona, Minn., on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. 
16 Fire crews and demolition equipment at work at the scene of a large fire that engulfed numerous buildings in downtown Winona, Minn., on Friday morning, Sept. 13, 2013. 
17 A plume of smoke exits the roof of the Islamic Center of Winona as an excavator breaks through the roof of the building. Fire crews and demolition equipment worked at the scene of a large fire that destroyed three buildings in downtown Winona, Minn., Friday morning, Sept. 13, 2013. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
18 Demolition crews remove the rubble after fire crews had to destroy the historic building that housed the Islamic Center of Winona Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. The fire destroyed three buildings and forced officials to evacuate the entire block. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
19 Firefighters gather on the sidewalk as others fight to extinguish a fire that destroyed three buildings in downtown Winona, Minn., Friday morning, Sept. 13, 2013. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
20 Water pours out of windows from a building on Center Street in downtown Winona, Minn. Friday Sept. 13, 2013. Fire crews and demolition equipment worked at the scene of a large fire that destroyed three buildings in the historical area. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
21 Rubble litters the street after fire crews had to destroy the historic building that housed the Islamic Center of Winona, right, Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. The building on the left was saved, however. The fire destroyed three buildings and forced officials to evacuate the entire block. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
22 Mohammad Ahmad listens during prayer service at Central Lutheran Church Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, after the Islamic Center of Winona was destroyed by a fire earlier in the day. The Lutheran church offered a space for the Islamic Center members to hold their Friday prayer services. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
23 Ahmed El-Afandi leads a prayer service at Central Lutheran Church Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, after the Islamic Center of Winona was destroyed by a fire earlier in the day. The Lutheran church offered a space for the Islamic Center members to hold their Friday prayer services. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer) 
24 Men pray at Central Lutheran Church Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, after the Islamic Center of Winona was destroyed by a fire earlier in the day. The Lutheran church offered a space for the Islamic Center members to hold their Friday prayer services. (Photo for MPR News by Alex Kolyer)