3rd fire since August damages Stevens House Museum in Minneapolis

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For the third time since the end of August, Minneapolis firefighters responded to a fire at a historic house and museum along Minnehaha Avenue.

Saturday at about 3:42 a.m., firefighters were called to a fire at the John H. Stevens House, which is currently under construction to repair previous damage.

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The Minneapolis Fire Department reported that upon arrival, firefighters found heavy fire showing from the building’s back corner. Fire crews were able to cut through a fence and previously-placed boards to gain entry to the property.

Firefighters found fire on the first floor, extending to the second floor and through the roof, near the chimney. They were able to extinguish both interior and exterior flames.

No one was hurt as a result of the incident, the fire department reported.

The fire has been reported to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and the building was re-boarded.

Additionally, the MPRB reports that although a 6-foot perimeter fence was installed after the first fire, the board has been working to purchase and install “a more permanent, non-climbable fence as soon as possible.”

The MPRB issued the following statement in response to Saturday’s incident:

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) staff are committed to protecting and preserving the Stevens House. The MPRB has been working hard to assess damage, secure and stabilize the building, work with the historic program group to catalog and relocate items in the house, and plan forward for repair of the house. The Stevens House is protected under the property insurance coverage the MPRB carries on all structures owned and operated by the MPRB, and MPRB staff are working closely with the insurance company. Interior cleaning work by the insurance company vendor had been completed this week. Following an assessment by a historic architect and structural engineer that determined the structure could be rebuilt, work has been underway to weather the building for winter and begin development of design documents for repairs and rebuilding the house in 2023. With today’s fire, additional assessment and determinations will need to be made.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.