Minneapolis, MN, United States (4E) – A three-story apartment building in south Minneapolis caught fire after an explosion Wednesday injuring 14 people, including residents who jumped from windows to avoid getting burned.
Up to 50 firefighters battled the blaze at 516 Cedar Avenue South in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood amid subzero temperature and the injured were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center and University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview for treatment of burn or broken bones. Six of those hospitalized are in critical condition, Robert Ball of Hennepin County EMS said.
Other residents were rescued with ladders.
Some family members living in the apartment building said three residents are unaccounted for. Firefighters could not yet enter the building after the second and third floors collapsed shortly after the fire started.
Before the fire started, police were called to check a reported electrical shock in the building around 8 a.m. Ahmed Muse, one of five owners of the grocery store at the ground of the building, was talking to the officers outside the building when the second floor exploded blowing out windows and scattering glass on the street. Fire followed at 8:16 a.m. with flames shooting 20 feet from the building
Firefighters who entered the building were forced to retreat, Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said.
The building with 10 resident rooms was built in 1886 and is managed by Wadani Properties of Minneapolis, according to Minneapolis and Secretary of State records. Wadani Properties owned the building since 2005 and its owner, Garad Nor, went to the scene and visited victims in the hospitals.