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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • 9 injured after Minneapolis residential fire

  • Four people had smoke inhalation, while five residents had other injuries.
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  • Nine people were injured during a fire in Minneapolis Saturday, a total authorities say could have been worse since there were more than 20 children and adults packed into the older building.
    "If we didn't get there sooner, there definitely could have been fatalities," Fire Marshal Perry Ebner said.
    Firefighters arrived in less than three minutes early Saturday and extinguished the blaze in 15 minutes.
    Nine people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Four people had smoke inhalation, while five residents had other injuries.
    The Star Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/XJOsAo) one man jumped through a first-floor window and injured his head.
    Flames from the basement fire were just starting to spread to the first floor when firefighters arrived around 5:45 a.m. to the two-story house sectioned into eight rental apartments. But heavy smoke that blanketed the house made residents frantic to escape. Some were hanging from windows screaming for help, said firefighter Robert Martin.
    "'Let him go,'" Martin yelled from below before a couple dropped a 4-year-old boy safely into his arms. "It was pandemonium. If they're hanging out windows, then they're trapped."
    Two other firefighters used a ladder to rescue the couple.
    "It was chaos, people screaming and hanging out of windows," Captain John Romero said. "Everything was moving fast. We were dealing not with minutes, but seconds."
    Officials are still investigating the fire's cause.

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