Two fires at neighboring St. Paul structures ruled arson, firefighters and police continue investigation

Two fires that broke weeks ago across the street from each other are now being investigated as arson, the St. Paul Fire Department says.

St. Paul Fire Deputy Chief Roy Mokosso said that both fires appear to be “intentionally set.” He added that the St. Paul Fire Department and the St. Paul Police Department are both working together on the investigation.

No suspect is named at this time, but Deputy Chief Mokosso said local security footage has been helpful in determining the cause and origin of both fires.

RELATED: St. Paul Fire searching for answers after 2 businesses burn hours apart on same street corner

The fires severely damaged two businesses, Eastside Checkerboard Pizza and 52 Market & Trading.

Firefighters first responded to reports of a fire at 52 Market and Trading on Arcade Street near Jenks Avenue around 6:15 a.m. on Aug 9.

Later in the day, firefighters responded to a fire at a building across the street that houses Eastside Checkerboard Pizza around 1:30 p.m. The fire department said that the building sustained heavy smoke and fire damage to the first and second floors.

The department believes the fires caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to both businesses.

It will likely take many months before either business can reopen.

Salina Vang, who runs the store with her husband, said “The hardest part is we have so many customers coming here yesterday and today, and they didn’t know it was burnt, we had to tell them, ‘Sorry, it’s closed.’ It’s really, really hard for me.”

Since the couple’s catering orders burned in the fire, they are asking customers to reach out to them through their Facebook page.