Responding to structure fire, Minneapolis police also launch suspicious death investigation

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While responding to a report of a fire at a business in Northeast Minneapolis early Friday, police also found a man who was pronounced dead inside the building.

Police were able to knock down the small fire at the business along the 1800 block of Central Avenue NE. Police said the report of the fire came in at about 2:36 a.m.

Evidence in the area makes the death suspicious, police told a KSTP crew at the scene.

The homicide team has been contacted and is expected to assist at the scene, police said.

Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said although authorities are investigating the case as a suspicious death case, "we are not calling it a homicide."  

Elder said members of the department's crime lab were working to collect evidence and investigators were interviewing those living nearby for more information. Authorities will also review surveillance video captured in the area.

Police said the man's cause of death is currently unknown.

"We don't know exactly know how this person died and that's where the medical examiner plays such a crucial role in really giving us a nature and cause of death," Elder said.

The incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit information online and reference case number 20-053219.