Tragedy struck the Cedar-Riverside community of Minneapolis when a three-alarm fire erupted at Cedar High Apartments on the day before Thanksgiving. The blaze, likened by firefighters to a blast furnace, killed five people and seriously injured three others.

cedar high apartment fire
Cedar High Apartments in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis after the tragic fire on November 27th.

Known to locals as “Little Mogadishu,” Cedar-Riverside has become the epicenter of the Minnesota Somali community. Many Somali-Americans in Minnesota live in a complex of high-rise apartment buildings called “The Cedars,” which is operated by the Minnesota Public Housing Authority. Cedar High Apartments is part of this complex. The 191-unit building houses mainly seniors and single adults, many of whom live with disabilities. Three of the five people who died in the fire, including Maryan Mohamud (69) and Amatahlah Adam (78), were of Somali descent.

pritzker hageman lead fire attorney eric hageman
Lead fire attorney Eric Hageman investigating the site of a fire and explosion in Minnesota.

Our team of fire attorneys, led by Eric Hageman, are representing the families of two people who died in the fire at Cedar High Apartments. Our fire attorneys are offering free legal consultations for people who have been affected by the fire. You can contact them by calling 612-338-0202 or texting 612-261-0856.

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Those who lost their lives put the needs of others over their own

The stories of those who lost their lives in the fire on November 27th are entwined with common themes of perseverance, selflessness, and generosity. The five who died are remembered by their families and friends as people who lived their lives with grace and service to their community.

Honored as a pioneer of the Cedar-Riverside community, Amatalah Adam was often referred to by the nickname “Deeqo,” which means generous. She helped establish the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque, where she worked alongside fellow women in her community. Friends recall that she set-up chairs for older congregants and readily gave up her own seat if an older person needed it. She is survived by her son Said Harsi (pictured below) and her husband Yasin Yusuf, who describes his wife as someone who was “loved by everyone, including her neighbors. She was a wonderful person.”

“I will never get my mother back,” Fardowsa Yusuf so poignantly told the Star Tribune after her mother, Maryan Mohamud, died in the fire. Mohamud shared an apartment with two of her daughters on the 24th floor. Although she had difficulty walking due to medical problems, she attempted to escape the fire with the help of her daughters. Sadly, she was overcome by the blinding and suffocating smoke on the 17th floor, where she died of smoke inhalation. Mohamud wished to be buried in Somalia, where she hoped to return one day. Her body was flown to Somalia accompanied by her three daughters. Friends describe her as someone who was “kind and generous” and found joy in giving to her neighbors.

King Protea Flower of Somalia
King Protea, the national flower of Somalia
Pritzker Hageman Fire Attorneys Represent Injured People and Families Who Lost Loved Ones

Our fire and explosion legal team represents victims and families who suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in Minnesota and throughout the U.S. We have collected millions of dollars for our clients. We frequently represent families who are part of Minnesota’s immigrant community and have won significant recoveries on their behalf.

While no amount of money could ever make up for the terrible loss your family suffered, filing a lawsuit will help your family seek compensation for things like funeral expenses, unpaid medical bills, loss of income, and other damages. Filing a lawsuit will also help hold wrongdoers accountable and force changes needed to make sure that what happened to you does not happen to someone else.


Contact the Pritzker Hageman Fire Team

Phone1-888-377-8900  |   Text1-612-261-0856

Contact a Fire Attorney