250 displaced after fire on Christmas at homeless shelter
Around 250 people were displaced on Christmas after a four-alarm fire tore through a a building that had hotel rooms for rent and more long-term apartments, primarily for families experiencing homelessness. Three people were hospitalized and seven were treated on scene, the Minneapolis Fire Department said.
The Minneapolis Fire Department responded around 3 a.m. to the fire at the Francis Drake Hotel, a three-story brick building in downtown Minneapolis. The Fire Chief told CBS Minnesota the fire started on the second floor and spread to the third floor. Crews knocked down the first two floors and then it spread to the attic, which eventually vented through the roof.
The cause of the fire is still unclear.
All of the building’s 250 residents were evacuated around 4:30 a.m.
Mayor Jacob Frey, who visited the scene early Wednesday morning, tweeted “the only word that comes to mind this morning is heartbreaking. As our firefighters work to contain the blaze, at the Francis Drake Hotel, we already know several hundred lives have been changed. People will need help, and they will need it immediately.”
Frey tweeted that he has been in touch with “private partners and neighboring jurisdictions” for support.
The American Red Cross was on the scene Wednesday. The organization tweeted that the best way to help is to donate online at http://redcross.org/mn because they are unable to accept donations on the scene.
The hotel was built in 1926 as a luxury hotel with 146 rooms, according to The Associated Press. Hennepin County converted it to temporary housing for when there’s no room at other homeless shelters.