Jan 1, 2014 at 3:44 pm
MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) - A Somali community advocate says that three people are unaccounted for following an explosion and fire that destroyed a building in Minneapolis Wednesday morning. The news came during a press conference at the Brian Coyle Community Center where victims and families of those impacted by the disaster are being urged to go for help. Fire crews were dispatched to the 500 block of Cedar Avenue South just after 8:15 a.m. and found the building engulfed in flames. The building houses a grocery store and 12 apartments...with a mosque directly next door. Minneapolis Fire Cheif John Fruetel told NBC Affiliate KARE 11 the flames were as high as 20 feet at one point.
Initially 13 people were believed to have been injured in the blast and subsequent fire; that number was later increased to 14, with 6 of the victims said to be critical. Those injuries include severe burns, and trauma suffered by those forced to leap from second and third story windows to save their lives.
Authorities are hoping that families and friends who haven't heard from people who lived in the building or may have been visiting will stop by the Brian Coyle Community Center and provide information to investigators...the investigators stress the fact the 3
remain unaccounted for does not mean they perished in the blaze.
Governor Mark Dayton released a statement this afternoon, extending his best wishes to victims of the incident.
"On behalf of all Minnesotans, I extend my deepest sympathies to the victims of today's awful fire in Minneapolis and to their families and friends. We hope and pray for your swift and complete recoveries. I also want to thank the State Troopers, Minneapolis Police Officers, Firefighters, and other First Responders, who endangered themselves to save the lives of those engulfed by this terrible tragedy."
No cause of the fire has been determined.
Temp: 31°F (-1°C)
Wind: 5 NW