Fire damages Dinkytown apartments

Firefighters work on an apartment that caught fire above Espresso Royale in Dinkytown on Friday afternoon.

Firefighters work on an apartment that caught fire above Espresso Royale in Dinkytown on Friday afternoon.

Nicolas Hallett

An apartment above Espresso Royale caught fire in Dinkytown Friday afternoon. No injuries have been reported, according to the Minneapolis Fire Department.

The cause of the fire is unknown and is being investigated, according to Minneapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Dziedzic.

Crews responded to a report of a building fire at 411 14th Avenue SE at 12:44 p.m. Friday, according to a news release.

Dziedzic said the fire originated on the second floor in one of what he believes to be six units in the two-story building. That apartment was “completely destroyed,” while the others have smoke damage, he said.

Dziedzic said Espresso Royale received smoke and water damage and will be out of business indefinitely.

Firefighters rescued the three cats and one dog that were inside the dwelling during the fire.

The animals belong to D.J., who lives in the unit where the fire started. D.J., who declined to disclose his last name, said he didn’t know what caused the flames.

At the scene, he was visibly worried about his pets and was relieved when they were rescued.

“Everything else can be replaced,” he said.

Several fire trucks, police and paramedics were on the scene, and more than 10 firefighters took turns going into the building.

Thick, black smoke poured out of the second-floor windows as a couple dozen onlookers watched.

University of Minnesota student Phoebe Gulling lives in the building and was sitting in her room when she started to smell melting plastic and smoke.

She left the room and found her roommate on the phone with the police.

“And then we came down and there were flames coming out of the window,” she said.

Agriculture and food business management senior Brad Reimann was getting coffee in Espresso Royale when it was evacuated.

“We went outside, and glass started breaking from the window and almost hit people,” he said. “We backed to the other side of the street and it progressively got worse.”

-Meghan Holden and Nicholas Studenski contributed to this story. Check back to this page for updates.