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Firefighter walks in front of the iced over Cedar-Riverside apartments in Minneapolis after battling a fire that claimed at least one life

Salvation Army relief team at Cedar Ave. fire

Added on Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Salvation Army disaster relief volunteers are on the scene of a fire at Cedar-Riverside in Minneapolis where an apparent explosion started a fire that soon engulfed Otonga Grocery and 10 apartments and sent 13 people to the hospital, six critically injured (donate to help the relief effort).

The crew of the Salvation Army mobile kitchen support  emergency responders as they fight the fire in below zero conditions that make the situation challenging and dangerous. Volunteers provide drinks, food and emotional support that help to keep the responders energized and on task.

Salvation Army disaster director Captain Fred Mead participated in a recovery and service center set up to help survivors at a nearby community center.

“At this point it looks as though all of the apartment residents are either hospitalized or with other family or friends,” Mead said.  By 1 p.m. on Wednesday, the center had not seen anyone looking for services.

“We will stay connected with Hennepin County response teams and are prepared to help those residents who may need our services,” Mead added.

The Salvation Army typically helps with social services in the aftermath of apartment fires when residents have no other means to recover. The Salvation Army provides things like extended hotel stays or furniture and household goods once a new residence is established.

According to a report from Star Tribune, the apartment complex was home to single men. Both the grocery store and apartments are a total loss. Firefighters struggled to get the fire contained and have yet to determine a cause. The incident began around 8 a.m. when one of the owners of the grocery store called police to report a strange atmosphere inside the store described as “electrically charged.” Soon after, an explosion rocked the building.

Donations can be made to the response online, please designate Cedar Fire.

Photo courtesy: KSTP-TV/Steve Tellier