Friends, neighbors remember children killed in Minneapolis fire - KMSP-TV

Friends, neighbors remember children killed in Minneapolis fire

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  • 5 children dead in Minneapolis fire

    5 children dead in Minneapolis fire

    Friday, February 14 2014 3:57 PM EST2014-02-14 20:57:21 GMT
    An early morning fire claimed the lives of 5 children at this duplex on Colfax Ave. N. in Minneapolis. Photo by Leah Beno / Fox 9 News.An early morning fire claimed the lives of 5 children at this duplex on Colfax Ave. N. in Minneapolis. Photo by Leah Beno / Fox 9 News.
    5 children have died following a Valentine's Day fire in north Minneapolis, near the corner of 28th Avenue N. and Colfax Avenue N., the Hennepin County medical examiner confirmed Friday.
    5 children have died following a Valentine's Day fire in north Minneapolis, near the corner of 28th Avenue N. and Colfax Avenue N., the Hennepin County medical examiner confirmed Friday.
  • Colfax Ave. duplex recently inspected by city, cleared for rental

    Colfax Ave. duplex recently inspected by city, cleared for rental

    Friday, February 14 2014 3:53 PM EST2014-02-14 20:53:23 GMT
    In August, the city of Minneapolis was ready to condemn the duplex at 2818 Colfax Ave. N. because there was no electricity, but records show the property's problems were fixed.
    In August, the city of Minneapolis was ready to condemn the duplex at 2818 Colfax Ave. N. because there was no electricity, but records show the property's problems were fixed and inspectors issued a new rental license one week ago.


Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and other community leaders joined friends and neighbors to let Troy Lewis, the father of five children killed in Friday's fire, know they stand with him in his time of tremendous loss. The children, Christopher, Mary, Fanny, Troy and Gwendolyn were trapped inside as their father Troy Lewis tried unsuccessfully to save them. Two of Lewis' girls, Chaka and Electra remain in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center.

"It's hardest on this family and it's hard on a community and leaning on one another is the best way through," Mayor Hodges said during the vigil.

The Lewis children lost their mother to heart problems in October.

"I have to look to the fact that I don't have my home anymore, I don't have nothing but my two children," Lewis said from the hospital. "I leave here, I don't know where I have to go, I have nowhere to go."

The fire started around 5 a.m. Friday morning near the corner of 28th Avenue N and Colfax Avenue N, just west of Farview Park in the Hawthorne neighborhood. Lewis said he bought a space heater because he told the landlord three of the heaters didn't work, but the landlord hadn't fixed the problem.

"The heater was on fire in the house," Lewis told FOX 9's Maury Glover. "It was just blazing. That's when I backed off because I couldn't get no closer because I was running out of air."

While there has been no official confirmation from officials on the cause of the fire, the duplex passed inspection six months ago and owner Paul Bertelson told FOX 9 that there were no maintenance issues he was aware of.

The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers is collecting donations for both families.

You can drop off or send donations to:

67 8th Avenue Northeast
Minneapolis, MN 55413

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