Four-alarm blaze at Minneapolis' Drake Hotel forces more than 200 low-income residents to evacuate

Firefighters battle the Christmas morning blaze at the Francis Drake Hotel.

(CNN)More than 200 people were evacuated from a low-income residential hotel after a fire broke out early Christmas morning and quickly grew to four alarms, Minneapolis fire officials said.

The Francis Drake Hotel caught fire about 3 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) Wednesday, Minneapolis Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Tyner said. Crews were still fighting the fire mid-afternoon, officials said.
Temperatures in Minneapolis dipped into the 30s on this damp, foggy morning, and Metro Transit, the city's public transport operator, was working to find temporary shelter for those displaced. The Red Cross was providing food and drinks to residents, Tyner said.
"We have a total of five buses helping to house residents and firefighters in order to help keep them warm," Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla said. "We're glad to do this small part to help the communities we serve in their time of need."
The Red Cross said it was making arrangements for getting victims places to stay overnight. It said people who wanted to help could donate money using redcross.org/mn or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Firefighters had to evacuate the building to fight the blaze from the outside.
Officials are trying to work on a longer-term housing plan for the displaced, Tyner said.
"This is a tragic situation. Given the time of the morning that this happened, we are very fortunate that everyone was able to escape this fire," the assistant chief told CNN.
Fire officials tweeted appreciation for an outpouring of support to help those affected.
Angela Conley, a Hennepin County commissioner, thanked all those in the community and government who stepped up for the displaced. She said those affected by the fire "are in a warm shelter with many of the generous donations provided."

The fire seemed to be out, then roared again

Three people with minor injuries were taken to the hospital. One person had suffered smoke inhalation, and two others suffered min