The coronavirus pandemic created new challenges for crews responding to a fire in Minneapolis overnight.
Firefighters were called to a fire at a fourplex at Newton Avenue and Oak Park Avenue North around 1:30 a.m., according to the Minneapolis Fire Department. When they arrived, they found flames shooting out of the roof of the apartment building.
Everyone got out safely, but nearly a dozen people, mostly children, are now without a home. The crews helping the displaced residents find shelter are facing new obstacles due to concerns about COVID-19.
“Obviously, this is creating some challenges for us with some of our departments that are usually here to assist with people that are displaced when they’re unable to enter their homes or their units, so we’re still trying to navigate that,” Deputy Fire Chief Kathleen Mullen said. “Obviously there’s some challenges with the virus, trying to navigate getting people some shelter for the night.”
At least one unit in the building is “gutted,” Mullen said and the others have significant smoke or water damage.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.