Cost of cleaning up deadly Cedar-Riverside high-rise fire at $1.2M and rising

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The bill for cleaning up a Minneapolis high-rise where five people died in November has totaled $1.2 million so far, and there's still a lot of work to be done, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority said.

Nearly all of Cedar Apartments has been cleaned and dried out. Insurance investigators are still working on the 14th floor of the 25-story high-rise, where the fatal fire started on Nov. 27.

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Minneapolis Public Housing Authority spokesperson Jeff Horwich told KSTP work crews have worked tirelessly since the fire to help make sure the apartments for nearly 200 residents are as safe and habitable as residents would expect.

"It takes a lot of time, effort and money to dry and clean a building like that after a fire," he said. "We've had 200 industrial-grade dehumidifiers running in the building around the clock and a crew of 50 people in and out scrubbing, cleaning and drying."

Horwich said the 14th floor is still not cleaned and fixed up because investigators for the Housing Authority's insurance company are still working the scene.

"It is expensive to clean up a building that size, and we have made great progress," Horwich said. "And the good thing is everyone from early on was back in their homes, or a few of them had to find other suitable housing, which they did."

Horwich said the MPHA has paid a $50,000 deductible and its insurance company is paying the rest of the bill.

There is no set date for the reopening of the 14th floor.