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Crews respond to third fire at Stevens House in five-week span

The fire was found on the first and second floors, and extended through the roof near the chimney.

MINNEAPOLIS — Fire crews responded to a fire at the John H. Stevens House Museum in Minneapolis early Saturday morning, the third fire at the structure in just over a month.

According to Minneapolis Fire, crews found heavy smoke showing from the rear corner of the building just after 3:40 a.m. The fire was found on the first and second floors and extended through the roof near the chimney. No injuries were reported and the building has been boarded up.

The two-story home is currently under construction from the initial fire on Aug. 30. Crews then responded to a second fire on Sept. 20.

Officials have not determined the cause of the fire.

John H. Stevens is known as the "Father of Minneapolis," and his house is treasured because Hennepin County was organized there, the local school district was founded there, and they actually named the city of Minneapolis at a gathering inside those four walls. These days it serves as a museum and is operated by the Minneapolis Park Board.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) say they're committed to protecting and preserving the Stevens House. MPRB had a historic architect and structural engineer assess the building and it was determined that the structure could be rebuilt.

Work has been underway to get the building ready for winter, with the possibility of rebuilding in 2023. With Saturday’s fire, another assessment will need to be made.

A temporary 6-foot perimeter fence was installed immediately after the first fire. The MPRB says they've been working to purchase and install a more permanent, non-climbable fence as soon as possible.

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