MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Authorities say more than a dozen people were taken to hospitals after a fire engulfed several apartments near downtown Minneapolis.
WCCO talked with a family member of one of the victims being treated at Hennepin County Medical Center who also lived in the building. He said he has nothing left but the jacket he was wearing on his back.
Ismael Adan’s cousin Mohammad was among the victims who jumped from several stories up to get out. Adan lived in the apartment with his brother on the third floor. His cousin was temporarily staying with them. Adan was gone visiting his mother when the fire broke out.
“He jumped from the top into the street and he injured his hip,” he said through a translator. “It’s really shocking to leave your home and visit a loved one and come back and see loud explosions happening in your own home. … We are very fortunate that he’s alive. It’s an unfortunate situation.”
He considers himself one of the lucky ones in that he knows all of his family members got out alive, even though others are still missing. Adan’s cousin is one of 10 being treated at HCMC.
“We don’t know exactly how many people are missing but right now there are three for sure we know that are unaccounted for,” Mohammed Cheich, director of the Somali Justice Advocate Group, said.
Ismael Adan and the other families displaced will now be working with the Red Cross to find temporary housing.
Photo Gallery: Fire At Cedar Ave. Apartments
Assistant Fire Chief Cherie Penn says a total of 14 people were taken to local hospitals. No deaths have been reported.
Emergency responders say some people may have fallen from the building or jumped to escape flames.
Hennepin County Medical Center was treating 10 of the victims, including three people in critical condition and six in satisfactory condition. Hospital spokeswoman Christine Hill says all were suffering from burns, broken bones or both.
Penn says victims also were taken to Fairview University hospital, but a spokeswoman there said she couldn’t release any information.
“What we need out of people is basically their hopes and prayers for people who have suffered great challenge,” outgoing Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said.
The three-story building houses a grocery store on the ground floor and two levels of apartments above it.
Those looking to help the victims of the fire can send donations to the Minneapolis Red Cross.
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