MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis firefighters battled a blaze at a Stevens Square apartment building Tuesday night.

It started just after 8 p.m. at a four-story building on the 300 block of East 19th Street.

(credit: Jacob Lee)

The Minneapolis Fire Department says it started in a fourth-floor apartment, and soon spread to a unit below on the third floor. They arrived to find huge flames pouring out of an apartment window. Jason Dorsett lives on the third floor.

“I came out on the balcony and there were people down below that were screaming, ‘Get out of the building!’ So I ran outside,” Dorsett said.

Witness Meagan Quinn recounted the chaotic scene to WCCO.

“All of a sudden it just started blowing flames, and we started like yelling and screaming,” Quinn said. “My friend called 911, banging on windows, dialing numbers on the directory, just telling people to get out.”

The fire was extinguished within a couple hours. All residents made it out of the building safely, but two pet cats died in the blaze. A Metro Transit bus was brought to the scene to help keep residents warm.

Officials say the occupants of three of the apartment units were displaced. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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