Four vehicles were damaged in a fire Tuesday around 12:15 p.m. in the upper level of the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview Patient/Visitor parking ramp. No injuries were reported.
The ramp was closed for about an hour due to the amount of smoke. Some people waited outside for about a half hour in the cold.
The fire started in the engine of a sedan on the ramp's sixth floor, according to a Minneapolis Fire Department official at the scene. The fire then spread to a van and another car on the left and melted the side of a car to the right.
The Minneapolis Fire Department and University police responded to the fire and had it under control within an hour. No-one was allowed inside the building as responders brought in fire hoses and other equipment.
The water used to fight the fire froze on the ground inside the ramp, as well as on the street outside. As fire officials left the building, University Parking and Transportation Services employees were salting the road and directing traffic out of the ramp. Traffic was backed up at the intersection of Delaware and Harvard streets southeast.
Doris Hock, who was accompanying a friend to a doctor's appointment at Fairview, parked on the ramp's 6th floor at the corner opposite the fire.
"Luckily, we were on the other side of the floor," she said. "...There was just so much black smoke."