MINNEAPOLIS, MN – (CNN & WIAT) Sadly, being rescued from a massive fire is not how some families who were spending Christmas inside the Drake Hotel in Minneapolis planned to celebrate.
Minneapolis Fire and Rescue crews say the fire started around 3 a.m. Christmas morning. Families were forced to evacuate after flames tore through the Drake Hotel located in downtown Minneapolis on 10th Street South.
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Officials say the four-alarm fire started on the second floor, quickly spreading to the third floor and then the attic.
Fire crews worked for hours, trying to contain the fire as displaced residents were kept warm on Metro Transit buses.
Authorities say the fire left more than 200 people without their belongings or a place to stay.
Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel says the building served as a designated overflow shelter in Hennepin County for families experiencing homelessness.
Right now, the Minnesota Red Cross is working on finding temporary shelter for hundreds as the city looks to secure a more long-term solution.
Authorities say, three people were taken to the hospital, but are expected to be OK. Several residents were also treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.