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"A wall of fire": Neighbors say people lived in vacant Uptown apartment since it was condemned

Owner of vacant apartment building under scrutiny
Owner of vacant apartment building under scrutiny 02:26

MINNEAPOLIS -- Crews are battling a fire at an apartment building in Minneapolis on Saturday morning.

The four-story apartment, located on the 2300 block of Lyndale Avenue South, was vacant and boarded up, according to fire officials. City records indicate the building had been condemned as of Oct. 13.

MORE: Police records show 53 disturbance calls to vacant Minneapolis apartment building that burned down

The building's owner is listed as C. David George, according to a city website. George also owns a condemned structure at 200 Oak Grove Street in Minneapolis, which caught fire after being boarded. 

The four-story apartment, located on the 2300 block of Lyndale Avenue South, was vacant and boarded up at the time of the fire. CBS Minnesota

The Minneapolis Fire Department says at least one person was inside the building when it caught fire Saturday and wrote in a statement the person jumped from a second-story window where they landed safely. 

"It was just orange flames literally jolting out the window," said Michelle Davis, who lives in a complex next door. 

Eventually, the crews left the building because the fire was extensive and spread to all floors. The fire started showing through the roof, which partially collapsed.

Davis says she's been concerned about people coming in and out of the condemned building for the last several weeks. 

"A lot of the homeless people go there and sleep at night," she said. "That's what they've been doing, camping out in there."

MFD Battalion Chief Pete Hallstrom said on the scene fire crews had previously responded to the building but could not provide specific numbers as to how many calls for service had been logged. 

"People who live in that building are our neighbors," said a neighbor who asked not to be named. "I want to make sure they're okay because we're Minneapolis and we care for each other."

C. David George did not respond to request for comment at the time of this story's publishing. 

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