An explosion and fire struck a wine store early Friday in Shakopee, peeling off the front of the business in what police are calling a case of arson.
Hops and Vines Liquor Emporium, located in a strip mall in the 8000 block of Old Carriage Court, was closed at the time and no one was inside when the explosion and fire occurred about 3:30 a.m., said operator Amy Freiberg.
Police detective Corey Schneck said authorities are looking for a perpetrator who may have fresh burns from the fire. Schneck declined to say what led authorities to suspect arson. He also declined to say anything about who police think committed the crime.
A reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest is being offered by the International Association of Arson Investigators, the detective said. Anyone with information about the case can call the association's tip line at 1-800-723-2020 or Shakopee police at 952-233-9400.
Freiberg said about five hours after the blast that it involved a natural gas leak, but added Friday afternoon that she also was told by police that it was "definitely arson."
"The whole front is off," said Freiberg, who was at the store doing her best to salvage what she could of her inventory.
She said four other businesses in the strip mall were damaged to lesser degrees.
Freiberg said she's had the business for about three years and is uncertain about its future. The name of the store was recently changed from Wine Styles.