Hundreds of residents were forced out of their homes at the Parklawn Estates apartments in Edina late Tuesday night.
Edina firefighters were called to the building on the 4100 block of Parklawn Avenue at 11:15 p.m. Tuesday. Heavy smoke was showing from the first floor and flames quickly spread up the building, reaching past the top floor of the three-story complex.
About 10 fire departments responded to provide mutual aid. Gas and electricity were cut from the building as a precaution.
"The fire alarms worked throughout which allowed for a safe evacuation," said Edina Fire Chief Marty Scheerer. "But if this building had sprinklers, it is very possible the fire could have been contained to the one unit."
Residents of the 118-unit building all safely evacuated, though one person was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation. An Eden Prairie firefighter was taken to the hospital with a knee injury and an elderly resident was hospitalized for exhaustion.
The fire started in a first-floor apartment and caused significant damage to the two apartments above it and moderate fire damage to three additional apartments. Dozens of other apartments sustained smoke damage.
The renter of the unit where the fire started was not home.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army were on scene to assist residents. Metro Transit buses were also available for those displaced. Most residents were allowed back into their units, except those in heavily damaged units, to gather belongings, but no one was allowed to stay.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The cost of the damage is currently undetermined.