UPDATE: Five dead, three injured in Minneapolis high-rise apartment building fire

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Minneapolis City Council member says a fire that killed five people Wednesday in a public housing tower “could have been a lot worse.”

Abdi Warsame toured the 14th floor of the Cedar High Apartments, a 24-floor building hit by fire in the early morning hours. Warsame says the floor is “absolutely gutted” and the scene is “horrendous.”

The building sits in a part of Minneapolis known as “Little Mogadishu” for the concentration of Somali immigrants who have settled there. But Warsame, who is Somali-American, says the building’s occupants are not all Somali.

He says residents were gathering for a meeting after the fire and that organizers have arranged interpreters who speak Somali, Korean, Spanish and Aramaic.

The building houses many senior citizens, and Warsame says the main priority is to get them back into their apartments where they can be warm and have access to medicines.