MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Friday marked two years since a deadly explosion and fire rocked a Twin Cities neighborhood.
Flames ripped through an apartment building in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside area, killing three men and leaving more than one dozen hurt.
Investigators have never pinpointed what sparked that explosion. Survivor Muqtar Said wants answers.
“It changed my life … forever,” Said said.
He calls the empty lot where his home used to be a “graveyard.” He describes pulling one of his friends out of the burning apartment building on New Year’s Day of 2014.
The friend did not survive.
“He was staying in my place and he died,” Said said. “The walls are falling on us and everything is like blurry.”
Said went into a three-month-long coma after escaping the blaze. Eighty percent of his body was burned.
“I’m still recovering,” Said said. “Day by day, I’m just taking [it] very slow.”
The 43-year-old cannot work or even write anymore. But he stays positive because he knows three people lost their lives.
“I wake up in the morning and I say, ‘Thanks God, I make it today and I will make it tomorrow,’ and that’s how I live my life,” he said.
Said and a dozen other victims of the fire want to know what sparked the explosion.
“No human being should die for something like this,” Said said.
Knowing what happened will not bring anyone back or heal the scars, but Said believes knowing what happened will give victims and their families some piece of mind.
“I’m their voice,” Said said. “They passed away, they don’t know what happened, but I’m their voice. They want closure, too.”
Said also hopes learning what happened would help hold accountable anyone who may be partly responsible.
Minneapolis police do not suspect foul play. Arson investigators say there was probably some kind of gas leak, but they do not know where it originated.
Said has an attorney who he says is representing the victims, but they are largely focused on finding out the cause of the fire. Without that, it is difficult to know who to hold accountable or who to pursue any legal action against.