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Firefighters put out apartment fire in Grand Forks

Firefighters set the pressure on a hose before putting out the remnants of a fire at 309 N. 5th Street Wednesday evening. Some damage was done to the corner of the building and so far there is no known cause. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald

Nadira Mohamed woke up Wednesday evening to a knock on her door the word “fire.”

A resident of an upstairs apartment in a house at 309 N. Fifth St., the 25-year-old wasn’t even sure who knocked on her door — she just evacuated, confused, and watched Grand Forks firefighters put out the remnants of a small fire.

Battalion Chief Chad Cutshaw said the cause of the fire was unknown Wednesday, and it will be investigated by a fire marshal.

Firefighters received a 911 call about 8 p.m. after some residents of the house came home to see flames, Cutshaw said. The residents put out the fire with a fire extinguisher and started evacuating the rest of the two-story house, including Mohamed’s apartment, before emergency responders arrived.

The fire was still smoldering when firefighters arrived on scene, so they cut out a corner of the first floor exterior, where the fire was, to stop the fire from spreading through the house’s frame, Cutshaw said.

Many neighbors gathered to watch as some smoke emerged while firefighters cut open the side of the house. The fire was completely out in about half an hour.

There were several apartments in the house, and several people inside at the time of the fire, but Cutshaw didn’t know the exact numbers on scene, he said.

No one was injured, he said.

The house had recently changed ownership, Cutshaw said, so he did not know who the owner was while on scene, but said the owner had been contacted. Cutshaw also did not have a damage estimate yet.

Grand Forks Police Department and Altru Ambulance also responded to the fire.

No other details were immediately available on scene Wednesday.

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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