Freutel called the blaze “a deep-seated fire” in dangerous conditions. Fire hoses freeze, and nozzles and hydrants also can freeze up while the water used to quell the blaze quickly turns to ice underfoot in the 4-below zero temperature. Firefighters were spreading salt on the street in front of the building to improve traction.
[caption id="attachment_23249" align="alignnone" width="300"] Photo credit Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Gallery here: http://www.startribune.com/galleries/238357651.html[/caption]
The explosion took place over a Halal grocery in a portion of the city dominated by Arab immigrants:
Ismail Adan, 34, has lived in the building since 2002 and left shortly before the fire. He said his mother had called him early in the morning and he left to visit her, but a cousin who was staying with him was in the third-floor apartment when the explosion occurred. He said the cousin leapt from the window and was injured but he has spoken with him in the hospital.
“He’s OK. It’s not very serious,” Adan said.
The apartment complex is next to a mosque and the owner of the building could not be contacted.
The building is managed by Wadani Properties of Minneapolis, which is owned by Garad Nor, according to Minneapolis and Secretary of State records. Attempts to reach Nor have not been successful.