Businesses displaced after suspected arson in Golden Valley
(KSTP) – Investigators are looking into whether arsonists targeted an office building in Golden Valley over some of the tenants.
The fire was reported just after 2 a.m. Sunday at a building off of Wayzata Boulevard, not far from General Mills Boulevard.
The businesses say it’ll be months before they can return to the office space, and both federal and local authorities are investigating to determine if some of the conservative organizations in the building — Center of the American Experiment, TakeCharge and Upper Midwest Law Center — were the targets of the fire.
Kendall Qualls, found of TakeCharge, says the fires were set on the first and third floors, where the offices of the three conservative organizations are located. He noted that they’re not the only ones affected by the fire.
“Not only the damages that we suffered, there are small businesses here,” he said.
Andrashko Chiropractic is one of those businesses and has been serving patients in the building for 20 years.
“So yeah, it’s been very disruptive for my classes, my business and my patients. My patients look forward to getting fixed or adjusted and helped,” owner Mary Andrashko said.
“Worst part was three to four inches of water on the ground and even moisture in the air impacting all electronics inside the building,” Kirby Sneen, the president of Manufacturers Alliance, another of the affected businesses, added.
Sneen called the fire “devastating,” adding that it “negatively impacts everyone here.”
The goal now, for the businesses, is to rebuild.
“Physical things can always be replaced at a cost. everything’s at a cost because, again, someone doesn’t like what they hear,” Qualls said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Friday that it isn’t yet ready to determine whether or not the conservative offices were targeted. However, they’re asking anyone with information to call their tipline at 1-888-283-3473.