Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

14 injured, at least 3 unaccounted for in Minneapolis apartment fire

Author:

At least 14 people were hospitalized, some critically, in an explosion and fire at a Minneapolis apartment building Wednesday morning. At least three people were unaccounted for.

Three people remain in critical condition. Six others are listed in satisfactory condition, according to a WCCO report.

The injuries range from burns to trauma suffered when victims fell or jumped from windows to escape the blaze, MPR News reports.

Multiple fire crews battled the inferno in brutal subzero temperatures. Ice created dangerous conditions for at least 55 firefighters working at the scene, the Associated Press reported.

The fire, first reported after 8 a.m. in the 500 block of Cedar Avenue South, gutted the building's interior. The structure was left an icy brick shell after the flames were doused.

The Pioneer Press reported that a woman who lives nearby the building said her 7-year-old son woke her by saying, "'Mommy, there are flames."

"Every second, it seemed like a new flame," the witness told the newspaper.

Family and friends of the victims met at Brian Coyle Community Center Wednesday as they sought help and information. Apartment resident Ismail Adan, 34, a truck driver, who was not home at the time of the blaze, said his cousin was at home and may have leapt from a third-floor apartment in the three-story building.

"Initially, we cried and we felt really bad," Adan told FOX 9 News via a translator. "He told me that he jumped from the top into the street and he injured his hip and some other parts of his body."

FOX 9 reports that the Somali community in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood is rallying around the victims.

Adan told the Star Tribune that all the apartment residents are single men. Fire officials had said the damaged structure contained 10 apartments, nine occupied.

Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center Supervisor Greg Nelson said the building housed Otonga Grocery and the apartments, the Star Tribune reports. Nelson said the building is likely a total loss.

Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel told reporters at the scene that below-zero temperatures hampered efforts by the firefighters, who were called at about 8:16 a.m. By about 9:30 a.m., the second and third floors had collapsed, he said.

According to the Star Tribune, one of the owners of the grocery store, Ahmed Muse, called police about an "electrical shock" about 8 a.m. When Muse went outside to talk with officers, an explosion on the second floor blew out windows in the building and scattered glass on the street, the newspaper says.

Officials are still trying to determine the cause of the explosion and fire. KARE 11 reports members of the Minnesota Office of Pipe Line Safety were on the scene on Wednesday evening along with Center Point Energy to test for natural gas leaks. A spokesperson told KARE that crews did not find any leaks in the aftermath of the explosion and the area has no history of gas leaks.

KSTP reports both the FBI and ATF have been on the scene to investigate, Wednesday.

An adjacent mosque may have been damaged. Islamic Civic Society of America & Dar Al-Hijrah Board Chairman Abdisalam Adam said he needs to get inside the mosque to observe any damage, but believes it was likely damaged by smoke and water.

Extent of injuries

Hennepin County Medical Center spokeswoman Christine Hill said 10 victims – all adults – were brought to the hospital's emergency room. Three of the victims were in critical condition and seven were listed as satisfactory. All the victims have burns, broken bones, or both, Hill said.

On its Facebook page, the Twin Cities Chapter of the Red Cross said it was reaching out to victims:

Among those on the scene Wednesday were Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges, as well as incoming City Council member Abdi Warsame. It was Rybak's last day in office.

Warsame became the first-ever Somali City Council member when he was elected in November. The Cedar-Riverside community, where the fire and explosion took place, is home to sizable Somali and Muslim populations.

Hodges said it was "a tragic morning for the city of Minneapolis."

The explosion and blaze also captured national attention, with coverage on CNN and ABC News.

A few more looks at the blaze:

[preserve][/preserve]

Next Up

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.

prior lake high school

Prior Lake HS investigating another 'racist' video involving student

The principal said the social media video was reported to them this week.

Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 3.08.27 PM

Walz: Minnesota has secured 1 million rapid, at-home COVID tests for kids

It comes as the delta variant continues to surge in Minnesota, and the omicron variant might follow.

boundary waters

Forest Service limiting permits to BWCAW due to damage, overcrowding

Visitors have been cutting down trees and have been forced to compete for campsites.

police lights

Lockdown update: Armed man threatened to go to Kimball High School

A high school and elementary school near St. Cloud went into lockdown as a precaution.

chaska sewer

People in Chaska are flushing the wrong crap down the toilet

Water and sewer crews in Chaska have had to clean the same pump four times in the past seven days.

Related