Watch CBS News

Video shows flames ripping through Minneapolis encampment: "The camp is gone"

Witness video shows fire quickly spreading through Minneapolis encampment
Witness video shows fire quickly spreading through Minneapolis encampment 01:52

MINNEAPOLIS — Harrowing video shows a fire spreading rapidly through an encampment in Minneapolis on Thursday.

Minneapolis fire officials confirmed the department responded to a fire at the encampment, located on the 1100 block of East 28th Street. Two people suffered non-life threatening injuries.

In a video shared with WCCO, people are seen at the encampment scrambling to grab belongings and get away from the fire as it spread quickly from yurt to yurt. People are heard yelling "get everybody out" and warning that there are propane tanks that may explode.

Tony Gonzalez

John Gonzalez, who took the video, says there are about 20 yurts at the encampment, with 60 to 100 people living at the site. Gonzalez later said he could hear propane tanks exploding. Meanwhile, a large smoke plume is seen rising from the fire.

"The camp is gone — completely ablaze," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez is a journalist with Standing Bear Network, an indigenous media group.

"After we saw the flames, things started to explode," he said. "They were propane canisters, there were fire extinguishers and things started to explode. Big ball of fire just engulfing everywhere."

As of 1 p.m., aerial video showed the fire was mostly extinguished, with fire crews working on hot spots.  


Earlier this month, city crews evicted the residents of Camp Nenookaasi in south Minneapolis. It was the third time in four weeks the city cleared the migrating residents' camp. City leaders said the camp posed health and safety issues, while organizers, residents and supporters of the camp criticized the city for closing it without a plan. At one point, the camp was home to more than 100 people.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.