LAKE ELMO, Minn. (WCCO) – A fire broke out around 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Tubman’s Lake Elmo Shelter, forcing residents and staff to evacuate, officials have confirmed.
The fire started at the Stan and Doris Hill Home of the facility. No injuries were reported and all 31 residents of the shelter are in the process of being moved to Tubman’s west metro facility in Minneapolis.
Authorities said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time. The shelter is a facility for women and families trying to escape domestic violence. It has 128 beds across the Twin Cities and also offers legal advocacy, chemical dependency support and mental health treatment to more than 50,000 individuals and families every year.
Officials at the shelter said the fire has created a desperate situation for an organization already facing funding cuts and a loss of programming as it prepares for a possible government shutdown.
The facility is asking supporters and the community in general to help in any way possible as they work to give help to the families who have been affected by the fire.
The Oakdale, Woodbury and Lake Elmo Fire Departments responded to the scene and put the fire out. The Washington County Red Cross is collaborating with Tubman staff to provide assistance and personal care items for shelter residents.