There's still no official cause for a 3-alarm fire that broke out Wednesday morning on the 900 block of W. Broadway Ave. in Minneapolis. Speculation is circling, and firefighters haven't officially ruled out arson. Neighborhoods Organizing for Change said it destroyed their headquarters.
According to the Minneapolis Fire Department, firefighters responded to a report of a building fire at 913 W. Broadway Avenue before 9 a.m. and found heavy fire in the back of the structure. They had to evacuate shortly after entering the building because of "the rapidly deteriorating conditions."
People inside the 913 address and nearby buildings were able to make out of safely, but four people were brought to Hennepin County Medical Center – 3 early on, and 1 who was seeking shelter on a Metro Transit bus went a while later. Their conditions are unknown at this time. Fire officials confirmed addresses affected were 909, 911, 913 and 915-917 W. Broadway.
A second alarm was called immediately after crews arrived, and a third at 9:19 a.m. for additional firefighters. About 40 responded in total and were rotated as the fire ensued. Fire Cadets were bussed from training to provide additional assistance. None of the firefighters reported any injuries.
The Red Cross was requested to provide assistance for 11 to 20 people. Several fire crews remained on-scene into the afternoon and a structural engineer is assessing the stability and integrity of the affected buildings. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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Neighborhoods Organizing for Change says the fire destroyed its headquarters.
The group released the following statement early this afternoon:
We are deeply saddened by the fire that devastated our block of West Broadway this morning. The NOC office was destroyed. Thankfully, none of NOC's staff were harmed by the fire. We're safe and thankful to be alive.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors and the residents of the building who have lost their homes. North Minneapolis, and this block on West Broadway, has been our home for the past three years. We're deeply invested in our community and all those who call it home. We have a goal of raising $20,000 today to support the residents of the buildings who were injured or displaced by the fire. All the donations and 100% of the proceeds received by NOC in the next 24 hours will go to a fund to help our neighbors on the 900 block of Broadway Avenue.
NOC is more than a building. We're a movement.
We ask the community to support our neighbors at this difficult time. We can receive donations at https://mnnoc.nationbuilder.com/residentrebuild. We appreciate the outpouring of support. We will rebuild. We will continue the work. Onward and upward.