Update on gas main fire in south Minneapolis

A leak from a natural gas main in south Minneapolis triggered a fire that stopped rush-hour commutes, detoured traffic and prompted evacuations of nearby homes and buildings. Minneapolis Fire crews secured the scene within minutes, and the fire went out when CenterPoint Energy was able to safely shut off the gas. There were no injuries.

Minneapolis emergency responders received the first call about the fire near East 60th Street and Nicollet Avenue South at 8:36 a.m. and the first Minneapolis Fire Department crew arrived on the scene at 8:40 a.m. Crews from the Minneapolis Fire Department, Minneapolis Police Department, and a number of other local law enforcement agencies responded to the blaze. Once arriving on the scene, Fire officials ordered an evacuation of the immediate area, and established a larger perimeter shortly after 9 a.m. at Portland Avenue on the east, Harriet Avenue on the west, 54th Street on the north and Highway 62 Crosstown on the south until the fire was out at around 10:30 a.m. At 11:05 a.m. the Minneapolis Fire Department allowed all residents back in their homes.

At this time, the cause of the ignition is not determined. Minneapolis 911 did not receive any calls about a gas leak in the area prior to the fire. CenterPoint Energy is investigating to determine the cause. Nicollet Avenue South remains closed to traffic from East 59th Street to East 61st Street.

Heat from the fire damaged some powerlines, street lights, electrical poles, and vehicles in the immediate area. Damage estimates have yet to be determined.

Published Mar 17, 2011