MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Christmas Day fire proved to be too devastating for any part of the Drake Hotel to be saved.
Officials announced Thursday the entire historic building in downtown Minneapolis needs to be demolished, after initially saying they thought the west portion could be saved.READ MORE: Sheriff: Driver Killed After Logging Truck Overturns In NE Minnesota
We are also learning more about the fire that burned for 32 hours.
“This damage and the partial collapse of the structure made it impossible to access and identify the exact point of origin,” said Minneapolis Fire investigator Larry Oker.
The fire department believes the flames started in a second-floor unit, but extensive damage prevented them from pinpointing an exact cause.
“Through witness statements, fire movement, intensity patterns, and fire growth rate, the investigators, at this time, have not discovered anything that would indicate that the fire was intentionally set,” Oker said.READ MORE: St. Paul Board Of Education Approves Plan For Spending $207M In COVID Relief Funding
As the bricks continue to come down, multiple agencies are working to lift up the people who used to call this place a temporary home. On Friday, a multi-agency resource center will open as a one-stop shop for Drake residents.
“When they check in with us, they are actually going to receive an ambassador who’s going to work with them throughout the day to take them through the various stations,” said Minnesota Region CEO of the American Red Cross Phil Hansen.
Caseworkers and community resources will be made available to help them create personal recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate assistance for their specific disaster-caused needs.
A portion of the thousands of donated items on the day of the fire will also be on hand for people to pick out.MORE NEWS: Boy Scout Troop's Trailer Stolen From New Brighton Church
The resource center at Bethlehem Baptist Church will be open Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.