UPDATE: Fargo Police Say Unattended Death is Suspicious Until Proved Otherwise


An initial call for smoke in an apartment building leads to the discovery of a body by the fire department.

The call came in around 12:30 Wednesday afternoon for smoke in an apartment building near the NDSU campus.

“They made entry and found what is described to be a small fire,” said Deputy Chief Joe Anderson with the Fargo Police Department. “They were able to put that out, however, while they were doing that, they discovered a body of an individual.”

The gender, age, or cause of death of the individual is unknown.

“The firefighters knew when they entered…when they discovered the body, that the person was deceased,” explained Anderson. “So at that point, rather than trying to do any type of life saving efforts, they concentrated on putting out…extinguishing the fire first.”

The cause of the fire is also unknown.

The case is being investigated by both the police and fire departments.

“Their purpose will be to investigate the fire and our purpose, or our intent, will be to investigate what caused the unattended death, whether that was fire or something else,” Anderson said.

But here’s what they are able to tell us.

“It’s an unattended death,” Anderson said. “We treat these types of incidents as suspicious until proven otherwise. We have very little right now to release but we’re going to do our due diligence to make sure that we’re doing all the proper things to investigate this case.”

There is no significant damage to other units in the building.

People will be able to return to the apartment when the investigation is complete.


A suspicious death?

One person was found dead after officials responded to an apartment fire in North Fargo.
KVRR’s Shiina LoSciuto joins us live from the scene with the very latest.

The Fargo Fire Department responded to a small apartment fire around 12:30 this afternoon, where they then discovered a body.

At this time, officials have not released the age or sex of the person involved and they have not told us how that person died.

They also have not released a cause of the fire.

However, they did tell me when firefighters went in the apartment and discovered the body, they knew it was deceased right away and then focused on putting the small fire out.

There was no further information on how the fire department determined that information.

“Our general practice for unattended deaths is to treat it as suspicious or a crime scene until proven otherwise,” said Deputy Chief Joe Anderson with the Fargo Police Department. “That helps us not to be complacent, not to overlook things, and not to come to any kind of generalization too quick.”

This case will be investigated by both the fire and police department as well as the BCI.

Water from putting out the fire can compromise evidence but officials say they are doing their due diligence to investigate this case properly.

Be sure to watch KVRR Local News at 9 for more information.


A body was found in a No. Fargo apartment after fire broke out.

Fire officials say they discovered the body in a second-floor apartment at 802 14th St. N. shortly after the fire was put out.

The fire was reported at about 12:30pm.

We have a crew on the scene and will update you as soon as information becomes available.

Be sure to watch KVRR Local News at 6:00 and 9:00 for all of the latest developments.

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