Story highlights

Duplex housed 15 people, Minneapolis fire chief says

Three children died at scene, chief says; two other deaths reported later

Smoke was reported around 5 a.m. Friday

Cause of fire not immediately known

CNN  — 

Five people, including at least three children, were killed Friday morning when a fire burned through a duplex in Minneapolis, officials said.

At least three other people were taken to hospitals after the blaze at the three-floor, two-apartment building that housed 15 people, Fire Chief John Fruetel said.

Firefighters went to the duplex at 2818 Colfax Ave. N. after smoke was reported there around 5 a.m. CT, he said. They found smoke, and then heavy fire, on the second and third floors.

“Crews did a remarkable job of extricating what victims they could,” Fruetel told reporters Friday.

Three children died at the scene, and others either left the building on their own or were rescued, Fruetel said. Five people, including one parent, were taken to hospitals, he said.

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office later said the fire killed five people but didn’t release names or ages.

The cause of the fire wasn’t immediately known, and the blaze is under investigation, Fruetel said.

CNN’s Kara Devlin, Joseph Netto and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.