Fire sends 13 to hospitals

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities aren't sure whether any residents are still inside the three-story apartment building near downtown Minneapolis that was engulfed in flames this morning.

The fire sent 13 people to hospitals with injuries ranging from burns to trauma associated with falls. Six of the injuries were described as critical. Some victims were found on the ground outside the building, including some with injuries indicating that they may have fallen multiple stories.

An explosion was reported this morning at about 8:15, and within minutes a fire raged through the building. An emergency services official says it's not clear whether the people who were found on the ground outside were pushed out by the explosion, or whether they jumped from windows to escape.

The building has a grocery store on the ground floor and two levels of apartments above it.

Firefighters worked in sub-zero temperatures. As they aimed their hoses at the flames, water gushed from windows and doorways, forming icicles on window frames and leaving the street covered with ice.

A fire official says the roof of the building partially collapsed, making it too dangerous for firefighters to go in and sweep the premises.

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168-a-10-(Chief John Fruetel (FREE'-tehl), Minneapolis Fire Department, at news conference)-"victims were critical"-Fire Chief John Fruetel says several people were hurt in the explosion. (1 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *168 (01/01/14)££ 00:10 "victims were critical"

170-a-15-(Chief John Fruetel (FREE'-tehl), Minneapolis Fire Department, at news conference)-"building applying water"-Chief John Fruetel says firefighters could not stay in the building long because the blaze was so intense. (1 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *170 (01/01/14)££ 00:15 "building applying water"

169-a-09-(Chief John Fruetel (FREE'-tehl), Minneapolis Fire Department, at news conference)-"and third floor"-Fire Chief John Fruetel says the fire was intense. (1 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *169 (01/01/14)££ 00:09 "and third floor"

APPHOTO RPJB203: Crews battle a Minneapolis apartment fire on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. The billowing fire engulfed a three-story building, sending 13 people to hospitals with injuries ranging from burns to trauma associated with falls. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen) (31 Dec 2013)

<<APPHOTO RPJB203 (12/31/13)££

APPHOTO MNMIT104: Firefighters work the scene where a fire engulfed several apartment units in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, in Minneapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. Authorities say at least 13 people have been hurt. (AP Photo/Star Tribune, Elizabeth Flores) (1 Jan 2014)

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