MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities in Minneapolis are investigating the cause of a fire that killed five people Wednesday morning.
Inspectors believe the fire was accidental, but they’re still trying to determine how it started and why it spread so ferociously.READ MORE: Where Does Minnesota's Power Come From?
WCCO-TV learned the building was scheduled for an inspection on Monday. HUD tells us the last time it was checked was four years ago and it passed. From what we’ve been told, there were no glaring problems.
“With the five fatalities that we know about there will be a lot of conversation, a lot learning about how the fire started, how it unfolded,” said Jeff Horwich, Director of Policy and External Affairs MPHA.
What we know is the last inspection for the high-rise was in 2015. HUD reports a score of 95, which is higher than average for Minneapolis. It’s based on the physical condition of a property, looking at the exterior, common areas and individual units.
The City of Minneapolis only goes in when there’s a complaint. It reports five in the last decade.
In 2014, inspectors found a fire code violation: indicating hazards with fire alarms, saying they need to be maintained in operative conditions at all times and replaced or repaired where defective. Days after the complaint was made, repairs were made and it was closed.
No violations were found following the other complaints.READ MORE: Thieves Target High-End Liquor In Downtown Mpls. Restaurant Burglaries
Fire officials say the alarm was sounding upon arrival.
“They see there was an alarm on 14th floor but the whole building system was alerting,” Chief John Fruetel explained.
The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority says the building is currently up to code.
“We don’t know what the cause of the fire was and why it unfolded beyond one apartment which was very unusual in our buildings,” Horwich said. “They are made of concrete so fires do not tend to spread in that way, so we will have to learn about why that was.”
WCCO-TV asked the city what the fire code is for buildings and if it’s different for a high-rise built-in 1970.
We’re still waiting on that answer.
Fire officials did say sprinklers always make a difference. There were some in the building, but WCCO has not yet been given their location.MORE NEWS: How Do Minnesota's Vaccination Efforts Stack Up To Other States?
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