MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A grieving community came together Friday afternoon to support the survivors of a deadly high rise fire.
Fire and smoke tore through the 14th floor of the Cedar High Apartments in Minneapolis early Wednesday morning. Five residents died.
Wood panels cover the windows of the heavily-damaged units. In Friday’s community meeting, they discussed ways to prevent fires in the future, and how to escape them if this ever happens again.
Abdi Salan Mohamud is taking each day at a time, as he processes the pain of losing his mom, Nadifa Mohamud, in the fire.
“It’s been a roller coaster the last few days,” Mohamud said. “She was very humble … a person who takes care of others before she takes care of herself.”
He’s found the strength to show up and speak up at the community meeting, putting his own grief aside to help those who did survive this fire
“For us, things have passed and can be resolved afterwards. For the moment, we have people who are really in need, and those people are in trauma because they vacated their own building,” he said.
The purpose of this meeting was mostly education. Yahye Mohamed has worked for the Minnesota Red Cross for 10 years and wants to make it a priority to give immigrant families safety education.
“Know what can cause the fire, know how to escape fire, that’s very important,” Mohamed said. “There are steps that the people they need to take when there’s a fire in their apartments. Not ignoring the siren. Most of the people, they might not even know about the siren.”
Overall, the meeting was to help this community heal and move forward. Abdi Salan Mohamud says he’ll do so by living life as well as his mother did.
“The mosque that she always prays at, that was a lifeline for her, so I’ll helping out at the mosque,” Mohamud said.
Two of the victims were buried Thursday, including Mohamud’s mom. One of the victims had it stipulated in her will that she wanted to be buried in her home country. Her family is respecting her wishes and taking her body back to Somalia next week.
The Red Cross is actively working to support those impacted. To learn more about how you can help click here.