Updated:
Original:

Body found in rubble after Minneapolis fire, 1 still unaccounted for

Author:

Fire officials in Minneapolis say a body has been recovered from the rubble of the apartment building and grocery store that exploded in Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside neighborhood on New Year's Day.

In a statement, Assistant Fire Chief Chérie Penn said, "At approximately 1:55 p.m. Minneapolis Fire Department officials confirmed that one body was discovered in the structure at 516 Cedar Ave. S."

According to the Star Tribune, Penn said the victim's body has been turned over to the Hennepin County Medical examiner's office.

Fire officials have not identified the victim.

Demolition crews will continue carefully removing debris from the charred, ice-covered shell of what used to be the three-story building.

Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said at a news conference Thursday that crews will be cautious making their way through the unstable remnants as one person is still unaccounted for.

According to KARE 11, the two men who are unaccounted for are identified as roommates MriMri Farah and Ahmad Ali. It is not known if either men are the victim found in the rubble on Thursday afternoon.

KARE reports that a medical examiner is on the scene and more information on the discovery is forthcoming.

Fourteen people were injured in the New Year's Day blaze and were transported to area hospitals. KSTP reports three victims remain in critical condition and six are in satisfactory condition at Hennepin County Medical Center. Fruetel says one hospitalized victim has still not been identified.

The investigation on the cause of the fire and explosion is underway, and fire officials are clashing with CenterPoint Energy officials over whether a gas leak may have been the cause, the Star Tribune reports.

Fruetel on Thursday said a gas-related explosion may have been the cause of the blaze. Fruetel says witnesses reported smelling a gas odor at the time of the fire. But CenterPoint spokeswoman Rebecca Virden told the Star Tribune, “We had no natural gas in the area." She said the utility had done investigating and testing in the area.

Ahmed Muse, one of the owners of Otonga Grocery located on the first floor, told the Star Tribune that he called police about an "electrical shock" on Wednesday morning around 8 a.m. When Muse went outside to talk with officers, he witnessed an explosion on the second floor that blew out windows and scattered glass on the street.

More than 50 firefighters were called in to battle the inferno that followed in subzero temperatures. Fruetel says firefighters were only able to make it into the first floor of the building before dangerous conditions forced them to evacuate.

Nine of ten apartment units were occupied during the time of fire, although it's unclear how many people have been displaced.

A mosque and Islamic cultural center next door sustained water and smoke damage. A property owner told the Star Tribune that there was 28 inches of water in the basement. It could take at least six months to repair.

The Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota set up a disaster relief fund at Wells Fargo. Executive Director Mohamud Noor says 100 percent of donations will go to victims and families.

The Brian Coyle Center, part of Pillsbury United Communities, will have details on their website Thursday afternoon about a support system it's putting in place for fire victims.

The Red Cross is also assisting with the response and is accepting donations for victims.

Next Up

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of shooting wife to death

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.

unsplas - maple leaf frost fall lawn

MN gets its first frost advisories, freeze warnings of the season

The coldest spots could dip to below 30 degrees overnight.

Fleck

Ahead of Big Ten clash, Huskers fans spend their Friday mocking PJ Fleck

Huskers fans are in a playful mood ahead of Saturday's game.

Jamal Smith

New 1st-degree murder charge for man accused in youth coach's killing

A grand jury indicted the suspect in connection with the shooting of Jay Boughton.

trick or treating halloween

COVID: Mayo Clinic's tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating

A layered approach, especially for those who aren't vaccinated, is recommended.

Walz

'My patience level is gone': Walz calls on lawmakers to help hospital strain

The governor said only legislators can enact some of the needed measures.

landscape-g555db6b6e_1280

Jeep driver dies after hitting two deer, rolling into oncoming vehicle

As the SUV rolled, it struck another vehicle approaching the other direction.

carver county dog

Family's dog 'senselessly' killed with arrow in Carver County

The beloved dog was shot with an arrow on Tuesday.

Related