Apartment Evacuated After Balcony Fire

The cause of the fire is still under investigation

FARGO, N.D. — A balcony fire in a south Fargo apartment left the entire complex evacuated.

It’s an alarm no one wants to wake up to on an early Saturday morning.

“Oh I’m just devastated. My heart goes out to all the tenants,” said Leila Lau, the apartment’s property manager.

Just after 8 am, residents at 2709 15th Street South were evacuated from their apartments.

A fire on a balcony spread through the building.

“The first engine pulled a line and made the initial knock down and then as we got more crews on scene the crews went inside kept the fire from spreading more into the building and also did a search for any residents that still may be inside,” said Chief Dane Carley with the Fargo Fire Department.

The flames originally sparked in a middle apartment on the second floor of the building.  It then made its way up to the third floor, and then to the attic.

“It was longer than most attacks might take. They had the bulk of the fire in the two apartments knocked down in the first five or ten minutes, but then it took time to get into the attic space to get that taken care of, so about 35 to 40 minutes,” said Carley.

One of the apartment managers says she’s been in the business for 28 years and she’s never seen an apartment fire like this.

“I’ve never had to deal with anything like this of this magnitude. It’s going to be a lot to come back from,” said Lau.

F-M Ambulance evaluated people on the scene for minor injuries.  No one was sent to the hospital.

“I just hope we can get the building up and running,” said Lau.

The Fargo Fire Department estimates the damage to cost $600,000.

“It’s just a beautiful building inside. All the tenants are just wonderful. I’m so sorry their lives are being up heaved,” said Lau.

Tenants of all 17 occupied apartments will not be allowed to stay in the building until further damage assessments are performed.

The Fargo Fire Department responded with 20 personnel on five engines, one truck, and two command vehicles.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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