Skip to main content

Klobuchar, Smith propose fire safety bill after Cedar Riverside tragedy

Five people died in the blaze last month.

On Wednesday, November 27, a devastating fire broke out on the 14th floor of the Cedar High Apartments in Minneapolis, killing five people.

It was soon revealed that the building did not have sprinkler systems installed on the floors affected by the blaze.

A new bill introduced to Congress could help ensure that doesn't happen again — anywhere in the U.S. 

The proposed legislation, called the Public Housing Fire Safety Act, was submitted this week by both of Minnesota's U.S. senators, Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith. 

According to a press release from the senators, the bill would do two things: 

  • "Create a competitive grant program in the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide funds to help public housing authorities retrofit older high-rise apartment buildings with sprinkler systems
  • Collect data on the status of sprinkler installations in public housing high-rises around the country.

As the release points out, thousands of public housing buildings around the country — including the Cedar High Apartments — were built before the Federal Fire Safety Act of 1992, which mandated sprinkler systems in all new public housing facilities. 

This new legislation would remedy that, with the senators saying "the federal government must take a larger role in supporting fire safety improvements."

“With the proper safeguards in place, tragic events like the recent Cedar-Riverside fire in Minneapolis could be prevented,” Klobuchar said in the release. “The Public Housing Fire Safety Act would require HUD to set aside money for sprinkler systems and help ensure that buildings have properly installed fire systems."

Following introduction of the bill, the National Fire Sprinkler Association applauded the two senators for their "proactive leadership."

It's not clear when the bill is up for a committee vote, the first step towards a full floor vote. 

Next Up

image

Gallery: Island cabin is one of northernmost homes for sale in MN

Want to buy one of the northernmost homes on the market in Minnesota?

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

Charges: Houston men robbed Edina bank of $110,000

A third suspect has not yet been identified.

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys coming to Minnesota for 2023 tour

The rock band hasn't gone on tour in the United States since 2019.

Flickr - Menards store front - Mike Kalasnik

Multiple charges over protests after fatal Menards forklift incident

The charges range from trespassing, destruction of property and assault.

Life Link

Boy airlifted after being struck by driver in Elk River

The boy is reportedly a student at Spectrum High School.

Woodbury mn

Fortune's Top 25 places to live for families includes Woodbury

The media outlet says it analyzed 215,000 data points for almost 2,000 cities and towns across the U.S.

310727248_109188921966444_2076680989484337705_n

Iconic Dangerfield's Restaurant sells, with buyer planning new concept

Dangerfield's Restaurant quietly sold recently after more than 30 years in business.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Charges: Minneapolis shooter photographed 'lifeless' body before fleeing

Charges filed against an accomplice reveal new details about the death of Chante Williams.

Maple grove fire

5 youths are 'persons of interest' in Maple Grove greenhouse fire

Police say it's being investigated as a possible arson.

Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson has police license suspended for 30 days

The sheriff's suspension will begin on Nov. 22.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 10.43.19 AM

MN House passes bill requiring sprinkler systems in high-rise buildings

Lawmakers pointed to a 2019 fire in Cedar-Riverside, which killed five people.

Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith warns Dems she may not vote for budget bill if climate plan dropped

This comes amid a White House effort to get its "Build Back Better" plan passed.

Fire minneapolis cedar avenue

Authorities identify victims of Minneapolis tower fire

Five people died in the blaze at Cedar Riverside.

Klobuchar, Smith hang on to their Senate seats

Both of the incumbent Democrats beat their GOP challengers Tuesday night.

Sen. David Osmek

Backlash after MN lawmaker calls Sen. Tina Smith 'empty-headed pile of nothing'

State Sen. David Osmek made some controversial remarks on the "Up and At 'Em" podcast.

Fire, firefighters

'Severe damage' reported after marina fire on Lake Minnetonka

It happened Saturday morning on Maxwell Bay's North Shore Marina.

Duluth fire department, fire engine, fire truck

Officials investigating Duluth apartment fire that displaced 10 people

The fire broke out Friday night on the 600 block of East 4th Street.

Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 10.43.19 AM

Investigation: Sprinklers could have saved 5 killed in Minneapolis high-rise fire

The deadly fire broke out at the Cedar-Riverside apartment block last November.