A three-story apartment building in the heart of downtown Minneapolis caught fire Sunday afternoon and sent smoke hundreds of feet into the sky as it burned well into midafternoon.
The blaze broke out in the 200 block of S. 9th Street near the historic Foshay Tower shortly before 2 p.m., the Fire Department said, and was finally brought under control just after 4 p.m.
“Heavy fire starting to show through the vents,” the Fire Department said in a statement posted online about 45 minutes after the blaze started. “Preparing to switch to defensive strategy. Evacuating the building.”
Moments later, the Fire Department said everyone had been led out of the building and that firefighters were switching to fighting the blaze from the exterior as black smoke rose from amid the glass towers and toward a cloudless blue sky.
More than an hour later, crews were still attacking flames with fire hoses from three aerial ladders angled toward the blaze.
Around 4 p.m., the Fire Department tweeted that no one had been reported injured in the blaze, adding that the situation was under control and the fire’s cause was under investigation.
Aaron Falen lives on the second floor and was a half-block away from home when the fire broke out on the third floor of the building, which has roughly 20 units, he said.
“It’s an old brick building with a really cool facade,” Falen, who works at a downtown liquor store, said standing outside the smoky scene.
“I don’t think it’s going to last,” said Falen, who is anticipating turning to his girlfriend or friends for a place to stay in the short term. “They’ll have to gut it.”
The fire was nearly a mile to the west of U.S. Bank Stadium, where the Vikings and Texans played an NFL game before tens of thousands of football fans. Some fans parked near the building, and that lot was being cordoned off by authorities, Falen said.