Five dead in Minneapolis fire

Terrible news. The WCCO-TV story says: “The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has confirmed that five children died after a fire in north Minneapolis Friday morning. Crews were called to the 2800 block of Colfax Avenue North around 5 a.m. When authorities arrived, they encountered heavy smoke coming from the second and third floors of the home. The smoke quickly changed to fire. More than 40 firefighters were called to the scene where cold conditions made battling the blaze difficult.”

The Strib adds details from the scene. Paul Walsh and Maya Rao writes: “Harrowing details emerged of a father sitting on a window ledge in his boxer shorts screaming “My kids are burning!” during a predawn fire Friday in a north Minneapolis duplex that killed three children and two others. A few others from the two-plus story structure were hospitalized at North Memorial Medical Center and Hennepin County Medical Center, Fire Chief John Fruetel said, standing a few doors down from the scene at 2818 Colfax Avenue N. Their conditions were not immediately known. In all, 15 people lived in the building.”

Because transparency is problematic … Tony Kennedy of the Strib reports: “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis moved to block this week’s court order that Archbishop John Nienstedt testify about the church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse cases and release the names of all local priests accused of sexually abusing children since 2004. In a request filed late Thursday in Ramsey County District Court, lawyers for Nienstedt said Judge John Van de North exceeded his authority by ordering the expanded list of abusive priests and compelling Nienstedt and former Vicar General Kevin McDonough to submit to questioning from attorneys of abuse victims.”  

And I always thought of plant nurseries as happy places … Tad Vezner’s PiPress story says: “An employee of Bailey Nurseries in Newport was fatally stabbed there Thursday afternoon, and a man later turned himself in for the crime. … The victim, who was not identified by authorities, was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect had fled. St. Paul police later said the suspect, a man, was driven to the Ramsey County Jail by family members. He had suffered injuries, which were not specified, and was taken to Regions Hospital for treatment. The man was to be later transferred to the Washington County Jail.”

The GleanHere’s an interesting test of priorities … Bill McAuliffe of the Strib says: “Minneapolis’ seven public golf courses have suffered from years of neglect, and now feature bald greens, fairways sinking into saturated soil, ineffective websites, demoralized staff, ‘dated and disgusting’ clubhouses and even a directional sign on which parks pioneer Theodore Wirth’s name is misspelled. The cost to fix it all? $34 million, according to a consultant’s report that the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board got a first look at this week.”

At MPR, Jon Collins looks at heroin use in the metro ‘burbs: “The heroin epidemic has hit suburban areas in Minnesota as hard as urban communities. In Anoka in 2013, eight people died of heroin overdoses, up from two deaths in the county in 2008. Many more overdosed but recovered, county authorities said. … Growing abuse of opiates isn’t exclusive to Anoka County. Statistics from the first half of 2013 show that opiates, including heroin, continue to be a growing problem across the region. Hennepin County had a record 54 heroin overdose deaths last year.”

City Pages’ Aaron Rupar checks out the attitudes of Sens. Franken and Klobuchar re: that mega-cable merger between everyone’s least favorite companies, Comcast and Time-Warner: “[B]oth Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar expressed concern about how the deal might impact consumers. ‘I have serious reservations about this proposed transaction, which would consolidate the largest and second largest cable providers in America,” Franken wrote in a letter … . ‘Unfortunately, a handful of cable providers dominate the market, leaving consumers with little choice but to pay high bills for often unsatisfactory service’, he continued. … Klobuchar released a statement that is characteristically a bit more measured than Franken’s remarks, but critical nonetheless.”

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Comments (4)

  1. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 02/14/2014 - 01:36 pm.

    I heard an academic on Melissa Harris Perry’s show say the increase in heroin usage is directly tied to a crackdown on oxycontin. He put the price on one oxy pill at 100 bucks, while a dose of H costs about 10 bucks.

  2. Submitted by Presley Martin on 02/14/2014 - 02:20 pm.


    How about one or two nice golf courses instead of seven bad ones.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 02/14/2014 - 03:20 pm.

    With the Coldest Winter in 30 years

    There have been far more than the average number of house fires which have left families without housing or possessions (almost one a week, lately, up here in the Alexandria area).

    Luckily, no lives have been lost in my immediate area, but my heart and prayers go out to the families of those who died in Minneapolis this morning.

  4. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 02/16/2014 - 05:41 pm.

    Where do the church and parishioners go from here?

    The leadership of the Minneapolis/St. Paul archdiocese is not helping the damaged image of the Catholic Church. Not quite what the public expects of them. After they were ordered to testify under oath they fight the order stating transparency is the issue. If it were one or two priests maybe handling in a non-transparent manner would work providing they made meaningful changes so it wouldn’t happen again. The problem is much larger than one or two priests. If they are going to give the public and their parishioners confidence they have to be transparent enough to show meaningful action has been taken. Playing musical chairs with priests is not the proper nor effective treatment. Apparently preaching the word of God is different than living the word of God. The church is definitely becoming more like everyday politicians. Say one thing and do another. The archdiocese conduct only begs the question, what is happening in the rest of the world wide Catholic Church? Numerous Popes have mishandled the sexual abuse problem of the church. The Popes have preferred to hide the problem vs effectively deal with the problem. I understand we are all human and people make mistakes, but that doesn’t diminish the churches responsibility to take corrective actions, just as companies have to do daily to minimize their internal problems. The abuse appears to be a church wide problem that has been allowed to continue by ineffective actions of the leadership. Where does the church go from here? Where do the parishioners go from here?

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