Massive Uptown fire engulfs building near Lake Street and Irving Avenue [PHOTOS] [VIDEO]
A house near the Lunds grocery in Uptown is engulfed in flames this morning, prompting traffic to be diverted around intersection of Lake Street and Irving Avenue South.
The flames are visible from some distance away, and the blaze has been characterized as a three-alarm fire by the Minneapolis Fire Department, according to a WCCO report.
News of the blaze is circulating this morning on Twitter:
Avoid uptown at all costs. Lagoon and Lake both blocked off. This is a big fire, worst I have ever seeen with two close neighbors.-- Lindsay Guentzel (@LindsayGuentzel) December 28, 2012
No bueno. Fire in Uptown. twitter.com/larsonamyc/sta...-- Amy Larson (@larsonamyc) December 28, 2012
Fire in uptown!!!!!! twitter.com/mollycarolan/s...-- Molly Carolan (@mollycarolan) December 28, 2012
Massive fire in Uptown Minneapolis. An entire 4 story flat with flames coming out of every window twitter.com/ClayHumphrey/s...-- Clay Humphrey (@ClayHumphrey) December 28, 2012
We'll update this post as the story develops.
:::: UPDATES ::::
The Dunn Bros. coffee shop and Bruegger's Bagels building located near the site of the blaze is being evacuated, according to Michael Long.
According to KARE 11's Kim Insley, one civilian has been injured as a result of the blaze and is being treated for smoke inhalation.
Looks like the apt building is burning, but not Dunn Bros/ Bruegger's twitter.com/NHalterJournal...-- Nick Halter (@NHalterJournals) December 28, 2012
Apartment fire Lake Street near Irving.Lake Street is closed. A lot of smoke twitter.com/JeffreyDeMars/...-- Jeffrey DeMars (@JeffreyDeMars) December 28, 2012
Please do all you can to avoid the Uptown area as firefighters battle a apt bldg fire.-- CARAG Neighborhood(@CARAGmpls) December 28, 2012
Still battling the Uptown fire twitter.com/NHalterJournal...-- Nick Halter (@NHalterJournals) December 28, 2012
From a Star Tribune report :
The three-story building caught fire about [8:10] a.m. and quickly overwhelmed every floor. At least seven fire trucks were on the scene, where dozens of bystanders gathered to watch from the Lunds grocery parking lot.
Ben Garber, who moved into the building about a month ago, said, "I didn't have much time. It went fast."
Garber, 32, said he knocked on his roommate's door and warned him, "I think this is the real thing."
Told by witness that woman who lived in building for 16 years had hair burned, blackened hands, but was ok. Lost everything she had-- Nick Halter (@NHalterJournals) December 28, 2012
Huge fire in Uptown, hope nobody was killed. Building may have partially collapsed. W Lake & Irving next to Dunn Bros twitter.com/clvanderbeek/s...-- Chris Vanderbeek (@clvanderbeek) December 28, 2012
More from WCCO (report linked above):
Authorities say at least one person has been injured with smoke inhalation. Fire officials said they believe everyone who lived in the building is accounted for and made it out safely. The biggest challenge for crews is to keep the fire from spreading to other buildings since they are close together in the area.
Uptown apartment bldg on fire has 8 units. Mpls FD has connected with 4 tenants thus far. Back wall has partially collapsed into alley.-- Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) December 28, 2012
More from the Strib (report linked above):
One person was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation, said Minneapolis Fire Marshal Perry Edner. What led to the fire has yet to be determined, Edner said.
Firefighters were unleashing streams of water around the building in an effort to keep flames from reaching neighboring structures, he said.
The Strib reports that the burning structure is a 100-year-old, 8-unit condo building.
Via Andy Gifford on Twitter, here's a Google image of the burning building, located on the 1500 block of West Lake Street:
A Facebook friend actually lives in the burning building:
According to Katherine Elizabeth, the fire has now spread to the adjacent Bruegger's Bagels/Dunn Bros. building:
Brueggers bagels is on fire in uptown. Done for.-- Katherine Elizabeth (@katedash_) December 28, 2012
She later uploaded this photo:
Based on the photo, it doesn't appear to be entirely clear whether the fire has spread to the adjacent Bruegger's building or not.
More from the Strib (link above):
Resident Andrea Johnson said the fire originated in a unit on her the first floor, where she also lived, and she heard the smoke alarms "right away."
"I grabbed my dog and kitty," Johnson said. But once outside, Johnson's cat ran back inside and "I couldn't grab him in time."
Fighting back sobs, Johnson said of Baby Boy, "I'm just so sad I lost him." She said she also lost her car parked in back to the fire.
Firefighters have apparently given up on saving the burning building:
Fire marshal says that they have pulled out fire crews from the Uptown apt. fire. Building has partially collapsed.-- KARE 11 (@kare11) December 28, 2012
KARE's Kim Insley reports that the Minneapolis Fire Marshal denies the fire has spread to any other buildings, including the adjacent Bruegger's/Dunn Bros. structure:
#UptownFireNo spread to other bldgs per Mpls Fire Marshal.Firefighters have been fighting this from the outside since 8:10am. All safe.-- Kim Insley (@KimInsley) December 28, 2012
A man who was getting a bagel at Bruegger's said the fire broke out quickly, and both the coffee shop and bagel shop were evacuated. His car was stuck in the parking lot.
The man said that a woman who lived in the back of the building escaped with burned hair and blackened hands, but was OK. Barefoot, she didn't want to leave because she said her whole life was in the building, the man said.
An employee at the OPM Boutique in St. Louis Park claims they can smell the smoke all the way from the next city over:
Fire on Lake St in Uptown Minneapolis next to Dunn Bros. twitter.com/blakehanson/st...-- Blake Hanson (@blakehanson) December 28, 2012
According to FOX 9's Paul Bume , three hours after the fire began, crews have it under control. With a collapsed roof and back wall, the building sounds like a total loss, but Blume reports that the flames didn't spread to other buildings.
The Star Tribune's Abby Simons is on the scene and snapping photos as the blaze is put down.
While the fire didn't spread to the adjacent Bruegger's building, one of Simons' photos suggests the building likely sustained damage:
Early this afternoon, Blake Hanson uploaded video of the fire at its peak ferocity to YouTube. Here's his footage:
Fox 9's Blume reports that an unemployed Iraqi war veteran "lost everything" in today's fire.
Here's a few more photos of the blaze and its aftermath that have surfaced on social media today:
With one resident in the building destroyed by the blaze saying he's literally left with nothing besides the clothes on his back, his phone, and his computer, Tameka Davis shared something she's been thinking about in the wake of the Uptown fire:
No joke, this fire in Uptown was a good reminder for me to purchase renters insurance. #doneandone-- Tameka Davis (@tameka_davis) December 28, 2012
The condo building that went up in flames will be demolished before the day is through MPR reports . "Crews were still working on hot spots Friday afternoon, but [the Fire Marshal] said they expected to be able to allow a demolition crew to take down the building by the end of the day," MPR's Elizabeth Dunbar writes.
Officials now say an unattended candle on the first floor of the building sparked the blaze. Fox 9 reports that about 20 people, including Nicolas Hutchinson, who we interviewed this afternoon, have been left homeless.
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