Crews respond to explosion and fire at 5th and Cedar Ave. S. in Minneapolis (Photo: David Vance - KARE)
MINNEAPOLIS (KARE) - Authorities say at least 13 people are hospitalized following a building explosion and fire in Minneapolis Wednesday morning.
were dispatched to 516 Cedar Avenue South at 8:16 a.m. Minneapolis Fire
Chief John Fruetel says that victims were already outside the building
and fire was pouring from the second and third floors when crews
Fruetel says firefighters entered the first floor but were quickly forced to retreat when conditions became unsafe.
Ball of Hennepin County EMS tells our sister station KARE 11 that 13 people have been
injured and rushed to a number of local hospitals. He describes the
injuries as ranging from burns to trauma suffered while falling or
jumping from windows. Six of those victims are listed as critical.
say it is unclear if anyone was trapped inside the building. Crews will
search the rubble once the situation is under control. Information
gathered from residents will also be used to determine if anyone
perished in the blaze. Those impacted are being urged to utilize a
family assistance center that is being set up at the Brian Coyle
Community Center, 420 15th Avenue South.
"This is a tragic morning for the City of Minneapolis," Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges told authorities.
check of Hennepin County's website indicates that the main floor of the
structure houses a business called the Otanga Grocery, with the upper
two floors consisting of apartments.
Firefighters swarmed the
scene after the call was elevated to three alarms. The second and third
floors of the structure collapsed soon afterwards. Chief Fruetel says
frigid weather conditions are making things both challenging and
dangerous for crews trying to put down the blaze. While some
firefighters are being allowed to leave the scene, the chief expects
that crews will be there for the remainder of the day.
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