Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Fire that destroyed the Drake Hotel started in one apartment, but cause is unclear


January 3, 2020

David Joles – Star Tribune

Frustrated Domonique Howell, Tavonne Moses and Damian Ashcraft, left to right, just want their lives back after the Francis Drake Hotel fire, Ashcraft said.

Minneapolis fire officials cannot pinpoint the cause of the Christmas Day blaze that spread from a single apartment to destroy the Francis Drake Hotel, leaving about 200 people homeless.

Using witness statements and the science behind fire patterns, the Minneapolis Fire Department was able to determine that it began in Unit 244 on the second floor of the historic building, said Larry Oker, who works in the Fire Investigations Unit. But fire and water damage prevented firefighters and insurance representatives from safely accessing the starting point, Oker said.


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