5 Dead and 4 Injured in Fire at High-Rise Building in Minneapolis

Firefighters responded to a devastating fire that killed five people early Wednesday morning in Minneapolis, according to multiple reports.

At around 4:30 a.m. local time, area rescue crews arrived to a high-rise apartment building where flames raged on the 14th floor, the Minneapolis Fire Department said via Twitter.

City Fire Chief John Fruetel confirmed that four people died in various units during the fire and one other died after being taken to the hospital, local newspaper Star Tribune reported. Four more people were injured, including a firefighter, according to NBC affiliate KARE.

“A very tragic night at the beginning of a holiday weekend,” Fruetel said, according to the Associated Press.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the names of the deceased have not yet been announced. The Tribune reported that the 191-unit building is for low-income residents and is operated by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority.

The Minneapolis Fire Department did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

By the time first responders made it to the scene, the fire had a “pretty good head start,” Fruetel said in the press conference, according to the AP.

“It had been burning for a while,” Fruetel said.

A spokesperson for the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority told KARE that the 14th floor was closed off, but other building residents could return home within the day.

Per the fire department’s tweets, crews had to rescue a resident on the 13th floor via the elevator since they couldn’t use the stairway, and a 21st-floor resident initially refused to evacuate, prompting first responders to “check if safe to shelter in place.”

Firefighters worked to evacuate residents and ventilate smoke out of the floor above the 14th, where they extinguished the source of the fire at about 5:30 a.m., according to AP.

Source: Read Full Article