The Loring postal station in downtown Minneapolis where a small fire broke out last month will remain closed for many more months, and cleanup crews are working to avoid it being shuttered for good, a U.S. Postal Service official said Wednesday.
In the meantime, post office box patrons are getting their mail at the main station downtown along the Mississippi River, and people who suspect they are missing mail because of the fire have been keeping a customer relations representative busy these past weeks.
The fire at the Loring Station post office, 18 N. 12th St., late at night on April 21 sent firefighters breaking through the public entrance.
Still in doubt is the fate of the building dedicated as a post office in 1989, which sits near the westbound entrance to Interstate 394, U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Kristy Anderson said.
The interior will need to be “completely remodeled before we can get back in,” she said. “It’s going to be at least several months.”
There is also a chance, Anderson said, that the Postal Service operations will have to relocate for good.
“We always work to reopen” any stations that are forced to close for unanticipated repairs, Anderson said. “If the building is deemed unrepairable, we will seek alternate quarters.”
The cause has not been specified, but the Fire Department said there were no signs that it was suspicious.
Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Tyner said a day after the fire that the smoke and flames and the water used to douse the fire in a backroom did not cause much harm, and he believed no mail was damaged. However, photos taken recently from inside show charred mail in the sorting area.
Postal inspectors have taken possession of items that were intended for ZIP codes 55403 and 55405, Anderson said.
Anderson said the inspectors are determining how much can eventually be delivered or picked up. The inspectors are not saying how much mail was damaged, she added.
Anyone looking for mail they believe was lost in the fire should contact customer relations coordinator Sarah Schultz at 612-349-4700.
“She has been fielding a lot of calls,” Anderson said.