- Associated Press - Friday, September 9, 2016

MELROSE, Minn. (AP) - Authorities are trying to determine the cause of a fire that damaged most of a downtown block in the central Minnesota community of Melrose.

The fire was reported about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. As many as nine businesses were damaged and several apartment residents were displaced. Firefighters battled the blaze into the evening hours.

Melrose Mayor Joe Finken says at least three of the oldest buildings on the city’s main street, which were interconnected, are a total loss.

This is the second major fire to hit the town of about 3,600 people this year. In March a fire heavily damaged the 118-year-old Church of St. Mary in Melrose. That fire was ruled to be arson.

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