Fire Damages Two Eau Claire Businesses

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Firefighters in Eau Claire are trying to figure out how a fire started in part of a shopping strip.

It caused about $70,000 in damage to Amerasian Foods Plus and Mother Earth Laundromat on Cameron Street.

It started around five in the morning, and when firefighters got there, the flames had already spread throughout the front of the building.

It took about 20 minutes or a half an hour to put out.

"It started on the exterior of the building and it seemed to go up to the roof area," said Battalion Chief Duane Grunst.

"It's unusual...there's really nothing out there that we could find that is electrical in nature."

The fire didn't spread past the ceiling and roof.

Nobody was inside, but someone living in a nearby apartment was evacuated, then let back in an hour later.