Sidelined by COVID-19 response last year, bill to require automatic sprinklers in high-rise buildings advances in House

    State Rep. Mohamud Noor, DFL-Minneapolis.

    A House panel on Friday unanimously approved legislation that would require fire sprinklers in high-rise buildings after a deadly 2019 fire at a Cedar Riverside apartment building that killed five people. 

    Sponsored by state Rep. Mohamud Noor, DFL-Minneapolis, the bill would require existing high-rise residential and office buildings to install automatic sprinkler systems by Aug. 2033.

    The Cedar Riverside apartment building where the deadly fire occurred did not have sprinklers, which fire department officials say could have prevented the deaths.

    “This is about saving lives,” Noor said. 

    The measure has bipartisan support. The Senate version of the bill is co-sponsored by state Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

    A version of the legislation advanced at the Capitol last year before it was sidelined by the Legislature’s focus on responding to COVID-19. . 

    Noor’s bill now heads to the House labor committee.

    Ricardo Lopez
    Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.