Christmas morning fire at the Drake Hotel in Minneapolis

Building had been a temporary residence for the homeless

Lindsey Peterson
December 25, 2019 - 7:56 am
Fire Truck

(Getty Images / MattGush)


A four alarm fire early Christmas morning at the Francis Drake Hotel left a large portion of downtown Minneapolis blanketed in smoke as firefighters battled the blaze.  As of 7:30a.m. the fire was still visible out of the top of the building.  

The Minneapolis Fire Department responded to the call at approximately 3:00a.m. Wednesday and started evacuating residents.  According to the fire department, the blaze looks to have started on the 2rd floor before spreading up and out through a vent in the roof.  The Drake is 3-story brick building.

The Drake is now mostly being used as a temporary residence for homeless.  There are 146 rooms rented out by the week by adults living in poverty, but it is not a shelter and does not provide social services.  It is used as an overflow for Hennepin County when primary shelters are full.

The building had gone through some renovations in recent years, with repainting and carpeting.  Built in 1926, the Drake was at one point a luxury hotel but has fallen into some disrepair over the years.  The Drake is located at 416 South 10th Street near where 35W comes into downtown.  

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