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At Least a Dozen People Sent to Hospital After Apartment Fire in Minneapolis

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"It's not clear...whether they fell or jumped out of windows to escape."

Firefighters work the scene where a fire engulfed several apartment units in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, in Minneapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. Authorities say at least 13 people have been hurt. (AP Photo/Star Tribune, Elizabeth Flores)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A billowing fire engulfed a three-story building with several apartments near downtown Minneapolis early Wednesday, sending more than a dozen people to hospitals with injuries — some critical — ranging from burns to trauma associated with falls.

An explosion was reported about 8:15 a.m., and within minutes a fire raged through the building, said Robert Ball, a spokesman for Hennepin County Emergency Medical Services. Paramedics, amid sub-zero temperatures, responded to find victims on the ground, some with injuries that suggested they may have fallen multiple stories.

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