ATF: Fire that destroyed St. Paul hotel project was arson

St. Paul Fire
Firefighters monitor the site of an overnight fire in downtown St. Paul, Minn. on Aug. 4. A hotel under construction went up in flames, causing it to collapse.
Scott Takushi | Pioneer Press via AP file

Updated: 6:56 p.m.

Federal investigators have determined a massive blaze that destroyed a hotel project under construction in downtown St. Paul was arson.

The early morning fire last Tuesday destroyed a hotel that was being built across from the Xcel Energy Center. An apartment complex that's part of the $68 million project was mostly unscathed.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced that determination Tuesday, along with the St. Paul Fire Department, St. Paul Police Department and Minnesota state fire marshal’s division.

In a news release, the ATF says after reviewing video and talking with witnesses, investigators determined that the fire was intentional. A four-day search found no human remains, and no one was unaccounted for. The agency did not release any other details.

Kaeding Development plans to rebuild the hotel, but has not set a timeline.

Company president Carl Kaeding says in a statement that the arsonists caused anxiety and fear in the community and delayed job opportunities for 60 people working on the project.

The ATF sent members of its National Response Team to assist in the investigation. Investigators continue working on the case.

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!