A fire broke out at Minneapolis City Hall overnight, forcing 911 dispatchers to evacuate. The fire started in a Minneapolis police evidence room around 1 a.m. Monday.
The city hall sprinkler system put out the fire, but also caused some water damage. City hall offices will be open for business as usual Monday, but the police evidence room will remain closed.
The 911 dispatch center is located near the evidence room, so workers were moved to the third precinct headquarters to continue handling calls. By 5:30 a.m. Monday, all 911 staff returned to the call center at city hall, with services operating normally.
What they're saying
Mayor Betsy Hodges: "This morning, we were reminded of how dedicated and selfless city employees are in their service to the public. Minneapolis 911 staff went above and beyond to provide critical emergency services to our residents, even as smoke filled parts of the 911 center. They acted with cool heads and an extraordinary dedication to our residents. Every day, they are heroes to people in need of help, and they proved that again today."
City Council President Barb Johnson: "It's hard for most of us to imagine staying at our posts in a situation like that, but for our 911 staff, tackling difficult situations is second nature. Their bravery is a credit to everyone who dedicates themselves to public service. I would also like to thank the emergency responders who moved swiftly this morning to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. We know there is a lot of work ahead for the people in the police department and at the municipal building commission, and they have our support as they work to repair the damage."
City Coordinator Spencer Cronk: "This morning was a difficult one for the 911 center and the police department, and they have my thanks for doing their jobs extremely well in very tough circumstances. The 911 center had backup procedures in place, and they worked well this morning. Their preparation and calm proves that we have a team that is dedicated to the public they serve."