MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Crews are still working to determine the cause of a Tuesday morning two-alarm fire that sent three residents of a South Minneapolis duplex to the hospital.
The fire started at a home on the 2200 block of Garfield Avenue South, not far from Lyndale Avenue, at around 6 a.m. Authorities think there were six people inside the home at the time of the fire.
When firefighters arrived, they saw heavy flames on both the first- and second-story porches. They were forced to evacuate the complex. Crews then attacked the flames from the inside.
In all, about 40 firefighters were on the scene. Some still remained late Tuesday morning to hit various hot spots.
One of the victims, a man, was breaking windows and warning people inside the duplex to get out of the burning building. He suffered cuts and burns.
One of the women inside was transported for precautionary reasons.
Fire crews found another woman inside on the first floor. She was conscious, but also transported to the hospital for observation.
Firefighters believe the fire started on a second floor porch and moved quickly from upstairs to down. Smoke alarms did go off waking some of the residents.
“We grabbed everything we could and ran, ran outside,” said Haley Fleming.
One of Jenny Boushey’s roommates didn’t hear the commotion.
“She was sleeping, completely knocked out. She wouldn’t have woken up in time,” said Boushey, whose roommate was carried to safety by firefighters.
Firefighters were able to recover some items from the duplex including a box with more than $800 in cash that Boushey had from waitressing.
Other residents weren’t so lucky. Fleming was still wearing her pajamas — the only clothes she has left. Fleming is a musician and the fire destroyed eight of her instruments including a violin and a cello.
“You always think ‘If this ever happens what’s the first thing you would grab?’ But you don’t really think of that when it’s actually happening. We just ran,” she said.
Two dogs are still missing after the fire and it’s not known if they died or ran away.
There’s no word yet on what may have caused the fire.