Skip to main content

An explosion and fire prompted evacuations on the University of Minnesota campus Thursday afternoon, with fire and police responding to the area of University Ave. SE and 17th Ave. SE around 3 p.m. – eventually giving an all clear around 9 p.m. 

Evacuations were ordered at the 17th Ave. residence hall and all University Ave. addresses between 15th and 19th avenues. The evacuation area then expanded around 4 p.m. to include the area between 15th Ave. and Oak St. and Fourth St. and Pillsbury Dr., U of M officials confirmed 

Shelter was provided at the Northrop Auditorium for anyone displaced by the explosion or evacuations. 

The Minneapolis Fire Department confirmed crews initially responded to a fire in a three-story building in the 1700 block of University Ave. SE around 3 p.m. 

While working to extinguish a fire in the basement, crews learned of an underground sewer explosion that had blown manhole covers off the streets in the area, possibly all the way down to 10th Ave.  

"The cause of the explosion is unknown at the time and there remains a strong gas order in the area that responders are addressing," the University of Minnesota shared around 4 p.m. "While we don't believe that there are injuries, we cannot yet confirm that." 

Centerpoint Energy is also responding to the scene. 

The Minneapolis Fire Department has indicated a flammable gasoline spill appears more likely than a natural gas leak into the sewer. 

Around 6 p.m., the U of M stated the city began flushing the sewer system, which may cause gas odors to spread. Anyone who smells gas is asked to call 612-624-COPS (2677). 

Next Up

Ambulance Hennepin Healthcare

Boy, 14, critical after accidental shooting at Minneapolis apartment

Police say the shooting happened during a gathering at an apartment.

Screen Shot 2022-08-09 at 3.25.49 PM

Charges: Man caused Burnsville building fire because girlfriend was late

The alleged arson fire displaced around 50 residents.

Famous dave granite city

Famous Dave's, Granite City owner sold for $200 million

The owner of Famous Dave's, BBQ Holdings, is based in Minnetonka.

Alanna McLean

Appeal to find missing northern Minnesota woman

Alanna McLean was last seen this past weekend.

image

Minnesota reaches 55 confirmed cases of monkeypox

Nearly 9,000 cases have been confirmed nationwide.

derek chauvin

$1.45M payout for correctional officers prevented from guarding Derek Chauvin

The officers were reportedly ordered to avoid Derek Chauvin while he was in jail.

DSD_6142

Palm Springs residents: Divert the Mississippi to solve our drought problems

Should the southwest have some of the Mississippi River?

Image from iOS (10)

Minneapolis tries to spruce up street barriers with motivational messages

Police said the barriers will be in place through the beginning of the fall.

BearTracks3

MnDOT debuts driverless shuttle in White Bear Lake

This is one of several self-driving pilot programs MnDOT is working on.

snow

Farmer almanacs release their 2022-23 winter forecasts for MN

November is right around the corner and one of the almanacs figures it'll be a cold and snowy month.

Related

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.

Minneapolis Fire Department

Six students displaced after residential fire near U of M

The fire broke out at a two-story house in Dinkytown Tuesday night.

TCF Bank Stadium

All clear after bomb threat prompts evacuation of TCF Bank Stadium

The alert was issued just before 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

police lights

2 victims robbed on U of M East Bank campus

The incident occurred near Moos Tower.

U of M police

U of M tells students to be alert after spate of robberies, thefts near campus

The incidents occurred in the Dinkytown and Stadium Village neighborhoods.

Screen Shot 2021-10-11 at 9.10.52 AM

Fire at Minneapolis apartment building after car hits gas meter

The fire started after a car struck the apartment's outside gas meter.

Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 6.16.49 PM

Fire sparks evacuation from apartment building, man arrested for arson

Police and fire crews responded to the fire just before 9 a.m. Saturday.

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 8.22.04 AM

Abduction attempt reported by U of M Public Safety

It happened around 7:10 a.m. Thursday.