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UPDATE: Body of second victim found after Minneapolis fire

Credit: KARE/NBC Nightly News

Credit: KARE/NBC Nightly News

UPDATED Friday, January 3, 2014 --- 11:33 a.m.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minneapolis Fire Department says the body of another victim has been found in the ruins of an apartment fire, bringing the death toll to two.

The second victim was found around 10 a.m. Friday and the body has been turned over to the medical examiner. The first victim was found Thursday. Authorities have not released the identities of either victim.

The Wednesday morning explosion and fire injured 14 people, some seriously.

The exact cause of the explosion is being investigated, but authorities say they are looking at a possible natural gas leak.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, January 2, 2014 --- 3:23 p.m.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Authorities are looking at a possible natural gas leak as the cause of an explosion and fire at a Minneapolis apartment complex.

Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said Thursday that authorities are focusing on a possible gas leak because witnesses reported a smell. He says the debris field from the blast also points to a gas explosion.

The Wednesday fire injured 14 people, and Fruetel says two people remain unaccounted for. At least three people are in critical condition.

The blast was reported Wednesday morning at the three-story building that houses a grocery store and apartments near downtown.

Firefighters weren't able to enter the building while fighting the blaze because the roof had partially collapsed. But crews are now removing debris from the site.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, January 2, 2014 --- 9:48 a.m.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- At least three of the 14 people injured in an explosion and fire at a Minneapolis building remain hospitalized in critical condition.

Ten victims from Wednesday's fire at a three-story building that houses a grocery store and apartments were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. The hospital said Thursday that three remain critical, six are in satisfactory condition and one person has been released. The victims suffered burns, broken bones or both.

Fire officials said six people were critically injured and some victims were taken to Fairview University hospital. Spokeswoman Jennifer Amundson said Thursday she could not release any information.

No fatalities have been reported, but authorities aren't sure whether any residents are still inside the building. Its roof had partially collapsed, making it too dangerous for firefighters to enter.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, January 1, 2014 --- 4:44 p.m.

Fourteen people were injured — six of them critically — in a building explosion in Minneapolis that sent flames shooting 20 feet into the air Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The ferocity of the blaze pushed back firefighters, who had to battle the flames from the outside with hoses. Not everyone was accounted for, officials said.

The three-story building on Cedar Ave. South housed a halal market and 10 apartments adjacent to a mosque, which was also damaged. Rescuers rushed there after a blast and fire were reported at 8:16 a.m.

"When crews arrived, there were victims already outside the structure. There was heavy fire on the second and third floors," Fire Chief John Fuertel said.

Firefighters got into the first floor, but "the conditions became very untenable very quickly," Fuertel said. "They did the best they could."

Firefighters also coped with sub-zero temperatures and wind chills near minus-20 degrees.

Some residents were rescued with ladders. Others jumped or fell. It's unclear how many people might have been trapped inside and a family center was being set up to try to determine if anyone was still missing.

The cause was under investigation.

"We don’t know the reason for the fire," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. "This is obviously a very, very difficult and potentially tragic event."

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UPDATED Wednesday, January 1, 2014 --- 10:28 a.m.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A fire has engulfed several apartments in Minneapolis, and authorities say at least 13 people have been hurt.

Robert Ball of Hennepin County Emergency Medical Services says at least 13 people were injured in the Wednesday morning blaze, some critically. He says the victims have been taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from burns to trauma associated with falling or jumping from windows.

Ball says there have been no reports of deaths. He says it's unclear whether everyone has been evacuated because it's still too dangerous for firefighters to sweep through the premises.

Plumes of thick, gray smoke could be seen rising from the three-story building. Firefighters' efforts are being hampered by sub-zero temperatures.

Ball says there were reports of an explosion before the fire broke out.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, January 1, 2014 --- 10:22 a.m.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A three-alarm fire has engulfed several apartment units in Minneapolis, and authorities say at least a dozen people have been hurt.

Robert Ball of Hennepin County Emergency Medical Services tells KARE-TV the victims have been rushed to hospitals with injuries ranging from burns to trauma suffered from falling or jumping from windows.

Television reports show plumes of thick gray smoke rising from the buildings. Firefighters are on scene, but their efforts are being hampered by sub-zero temperatures.

Greg Nelson of the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center says the building contains apartments, a grocery store and a mosque. He tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune the fire was reported about 8:15 a.m. following an explosion.

The cause of the fire isn't immediately known.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 --- 10:02 a.m.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A fire has engulfed several apartment units in Minneapolis, and authorities say at least a dozen people have been hurt.

Robert Ball of Hennepin County Emergency Medical Services says at least 12 people were injured Wednesday. He tells KARE-TV that the victims have been taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from burns to trauma suffered from falling or jumping from windows.

Plumes of thick, gray smoke could be seen rising from the building. Firefighters are on scene, but their efforts are being hampered by sub-zero temperatures.

Greg Nelson of the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center says the building contains apartments, a grocery store and a mosque. He tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune the fire was reported about 8:15 a.m. following an explosion.

The cause of the fire wasn't immediately known.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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