Posted on December 4th, 2022
Authorities say a fire that damaged the historic Village Hall in Maple Grove on Tuesday night is being investigated as a case of arson.
It's the second historic civic structure in a Twin Cities park to be damaged by fire in recent weeks.
Maple Grove police said crews were called to the building in Lakeview Knolls Park, about a mile east of Interstate 94, just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Firefighters were "able to get the fire under control quickly but there was damage to the building," police said.
Investigators believe the fire was intentionally set, and said Wednesday they are looking for a vehicle seen on a nearby surveillance camera just before the fire was reported. It's described as a 2018-2020 white Chevrolet Equinox with dark-colored rims and a black antenna on the roof.
They're also asking residents near the park to check home security and doorbell cameras to see if they captured footage of the vehicle between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
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Anyone with information is asked to contact Maple Grove Detective Sam Valerius at (763) 494-6237 or [email protected] Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Minnesota at (800) 222-8477 or online at www.crimestoppersmn.org.
The building damaged by Tuesday's fire served as Maple Grove's Village Hall between 1939 and 1975; a new government building was constructed after Maple Grove was incorporated as a city. Most recently it had been used for parks and rec programs.
Maple Grove police said they don't have any indication Tuesday's fire is connected with a suspicious fire at a commercial greenhouse in Maple Grove on Oct. 2.
"Persons of interest have been identified in that case and it remains under investigation," police said in a news release Wednesday.
Tuesday's fire follows three recent fires in Minneapolis that badly damaged the 19th-century John H. Stevens House, located in Minnehaha Regional Park. The structure is one of the first homes built in Minneapolis.
Authorities said those three fires were intentionally set and are under investigation, with a reward offered in the case. Authorities on Wednesday did not indicate any suspected connection between the Maple Grove and Minneapolis fires.
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