A fire that destroyed three buildings and damaged several others in downtown Winona last week may have been caused by an electrical problem, Winona Fire Department officials said.
Fire Chief Curt Bittle said the fire apparently started and burned the longest inside the Islamic Center of Winona. No one was injured or killed by the fire, which lasted several hours.
"We do have an area of interest," Bittle said. "It was pretty well confirmed with the ATF investigator. He did come up with some preliminary stuff looking at electrical. Nothing's been etched in concrete."
Rubble from the building is being stored at the fire department's central fire garage. Bittle said local, state and federal investigators combed through the debris on Saturday and plan to do so again next week.
"We removed and razed the very front of the building just for the life-safety issue," Bittle said. "It didn't affect the area that we're interested in as far as investigation. All that is intact. We didn't disturb any of that by razing the storefront, so they should have a good crack at it come the 25th."