Community Message: Arson investigators conclude Lake Street fire investigation; cause is undetermined

Community Message has been issued by the Minneapolis Police Department.

Tuesday May 4, 2010 3:47 PM CDT

Arson investigators conclude Lake Street fire investigation; cause is undetermined
May 4, 2010 (MINNEAPOLIS) This afternoon the joint Arson Unit of the Minneapolis Police and Fire Departments have announced the conclusion of the active investigation into the April 2, 2010 fire at 3001 E. Lake St. that killed three children and three adults.

Fire investigators from the Minneapolis Arson Unit, working with assistance from the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s office, and the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension Forensic Laboratory, have been actively working to determine the cause of this fire. Investigators extensively combed the remnants of the building, conducted interviews and presented evidence to forensic laboratories for analysis. Despite this thorough investigation, the cause of the blaze cannot be determined, although arson investigators have ruled out suspicious circumstances.

The official cause of the fire is now categorized as undetermined per the guidelines set forth in the National Fire Protection Association’s Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations. This is the industry standard used in fire investigations around North America. Because the cause is “undetermined,” this remains an open case, though the active investigation has concluded.

It is not uncommon for investigators to conclude that the cause of a fire is undetermined, because of the destructive nature of fires. In 2009, approximately 23 percent of investigations into structure fires in Minneapolis resulted in the cause being categorized as undetermined.

The PIO contact for this release is Sgt. William Palmer.

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