Firefighters battling downtown Winona blaze

Winona firefighters train their hoses on one of the buildings burning downtown early Friday morning. (Photo courtesy Jerome Christenson/Winona Daily News)

Winona firefighters are fighting a growing, early morning blaze in the center of the city that the Winona Daily News says began at the Islamic Center. There are no injuries reported so far.

MPR reporter Tim Nelson spoke with Jerome Christenson, the deputy editor of the Winona Daily News who has been at the scene, watching the fire since early this morning.

“Fire broke out at what we’ve heard is the Islamic center on 3rd Street. The fire spread west to a couple of adjoining buildings and then south,” Christenson said.

Christenson says that at least four fire departments are at the scene. Many downtown streets are closed, and witnesses on the scene describe choking smoke as far as six blocks away at the height of the fire. Residents of nearby buildings have been evacuated and the Daily News is reporting seven people are getting assistance from the Red Cross already.

So far, no injuries have been reported.

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