MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis firefighters went door-to-door in a north Minneapolis neighborhood Wednesday morning, talking with people about preventing fires. It was along Colfax Avenue North near the scene of the tragic Valentine’s Day fire that claimed the lives of five children living in a duplex.

Firefighters said back then the cause of the fire was undetermined, but began in an area of the home where there was a space heater. The home was without heat.

It was a scene Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel says firefighters never want to see a gain.

“[The firefighters] feel like ‘well, what if I could have been there earlier, if I could have done this, I would have done that,’ It may or may not have changed the outcome, but it stays with people a long, long time,” Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel.

As part of fire prevention week, Mayor Betsy Hodges joined firefighters who responded to that fire to tell neighbors in the area about free home heat inspections and fire detectors available to the public just by calling 311.

Fruetel says people without heat should immediately call the city to help, rather than try to heat their homes with alternatives that can’t be left unattended, like the stove.

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