Five people died after a fire erupted on the 14th floor of a Minneapolis apartment building early Wednesday, officials said. The fire chief says it appears the had been burning for some time before it was discovered.
The Minneapolis Fire department tweeted while personnel were on the scene that heavy smoke had reached the sixteenth and seventeenth floor and that one resident on the 21st floor was "refusing to evacuate".
Broken windows and damage remain after a deadly fire at the high-rise apartment building on November 27, 2019, in Minneapolis.
The fire broke out around 4 a.m. on the 14th floor of the Cedar High Apartments.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the names of the deceased have not yet been announced, Tyner said.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital for overexertion.
The blaze broke out on the building's 14th floor, making it hard for firefighters to reach residents and put out the flames.
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Jeff Horwich, with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, said the building does not provide family housing and is inhabited by mostly single adults.
Abdirahman Shire, 53, of Minneapolis, said his 74-year-old mother lives alone on the 13th floor.
Hours later, Tracey Scott, the interim executive director of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, said most residents had been allowed back into their apartments.
Though the building sits in a heavily Somali section of Minneapolis, it's a melting pot of new arrivals in the city.
Fire officials didn't immediately identify the victims.
Horwich said it's unusual for fire to spread in the authority's buildings, including Cedar High. During its 2015 inspection, the building received a score of 95 out of 100.