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Juvenile caused apartment blaze, according to Grand Forks Fire Department

Grand Forks firefighters work from an aerial platform to extinguish flames in the top floor of an apartment building at 2627 S. 17th St. in Grand Forks Friday. photo by Eric Hylden1 / 2
(Kirsten Stromsodt, Grand Forks Herald)2 / 2

The Grand Forks Fire Department has determined a fire that rendered a 12-unit Grand Forks apartment building unlivable on Friday morning was caused by a juvenile.

A release by the department said its investigation showed a CD storage case was set on fire in the juvenile's bedroom, and it spread from there.

Grand Forks Police Detective Duane Simon said the juvenile male will be charged with endangerment by fire in juvenile court.

The building, at 2627 South 17th St., sustained major water and smoke damage, as well as fire damage to nearly half of the top story.

Grand Forks Fire Marshal Bruce Hoeger said damage to the building is estimated at $300,000. He said generally renter losses total one third to one half of the total loss of value to the building.

"They will have to rebuild the building, basically," Hoeger said. "Structurally, the building is pretty good except for the roof. It needs to be gutted from all of the water damage."

The Grand Forks Fire Department urges residents to make sure their smoke detectors are in good working order and that they have an escape route established. Residents should immediately exit any burning building and call 911.