Five Dead in Minneapolis High Rise Fire Without Fire Sprinklers

Minneapolis, MN, Nov. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On November 27th, an early morning fire in a Minneapolis High-Rise Residential building claimed the lives of five people, with several other reports of injuries as well. Minneapolis officials have stated that the building did not have fire sprinklers on the residential floors and that this is a property of the Housing Authority. This fatal fire joins a host of fatal high-rise fires, from the Marco Polo fire in Honolulu to the Trump Tower Fire in New York City. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 40 people die and over 500 are injured annually in high-rise fires.

The National Fire Sprinkler Association is saddened to once again find itself with the need to comment on a fatal fire involving multiple fatalities. Fire is fast and fires in buildings often end with tragic results. However, fires in high-rise buildings are extremely challenging for occupants to not only escape, but to know what to do, in regards to exiting or staying in place. High-rise fires are especially challenging to firefighters, with this fire resulting in an injury to a firefighter.

“Our heartfelt condolences go to the victims and their families, and we offer support to those injured and those who responded,” stated NFSA President Shane Ray. “Fires like this underscore the importance of fire sprinklers in high-rise residential buildings. HR 4685, which is the High-Rise Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, is federal legislation that could help us address this problem across America.”

The High-Rise Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act was introduced to provide a tax incentive to building owners who retrofit their building with fire sprinklers, in both office buildings and residential buildings. In the case in Minneapolis, these buildings are owned by the Housing Authority. In cases like this, we need the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to appropriate funding to state and local governments to ensure these buildings and the occupants within them are protected.

About the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA): NFSA was founded in 1905 and wants to create a more fire safe world, and works to heighten the awareness of the importance of fire sprinkler systems from homes to high-rise and all occupancies in between. The Association is an inclusive organization made up of dedicated and committed members of a progressive life-saving industry. This industry manufactures, designs, supplies, installs, inspects, and services the world’s most effective system in saving lives and property from uncontrolled structural fires.

For more information about fire sprinklers, how they work and access to additional resources and information, visit for the latest material, statistics and a dedicated team of fire safety advocates ready to serve all stakeholders in order to fulfill the vision of a safer world.

Vickie Pritchett
National Fire Sprinkler Association