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Minneapolis Thanksgiving Day Fire: 28 Years Later

November 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Courtesy of Wells Fargo Archives

Twenty eight years ago today, a major fire struck downtown Minneapolis and became one of the costliest fires in Minneapolis history.¬†The “Minneapolis Thanksgiving Day Fire” occurred on Nov. 25, 1982

According to the Extra Alarm Association’s website, the first alarm was received 5:06 p.m. Engines 10, 6, 1, Ladders 1 and 11 and Chief 1 were dispatched to a telephone alarm for a fire in a building under demolition on Nicollet Avenue and 6th Street.

The fire started in the¬†former Donaldson’s department store and quickly spread to the occupied 16-story Northwestern National Bank (now wells Fargo) headquarters.

The second alarm was called at 5:13 p.m. and by 5:35, five alarms had been struck.

The fire consumed the top 11 floors of the Northwestern Bank building.

Twenty four engine companies, including from the reserve fleet, 11 ladders, “Big Red” and several other units were called to the scene before it was brought under control at 4:59 a.m. — almost 12 hours after the initial dispatch.

Additional Minneapolis fire companies operated at the scene until Nov. 30.

Two juveniles were charged with setting the fire, which caused an estimated $100 million in damage.

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