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Early afternoon apartment fire displaces Grand Forks residents

The cause of the fire on the 3500 block of Cherry Street remains unknown.

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Grand Forks fire crews battle a fire on the 3500 block of Cherry Street Tuesday afternoon, April 6, 2021. // Hannah Shirley

Grand Forks fire crews battled a blaze in a two-story apartment building early Tuesday afternoon, April 6, that appeared to have significantly damaged the building's roof.

Grand Forks Fire Department Battalion Chief Bruce Weymier said around 1 p.m. that information about the fire on the 3500 block of Cherry Street remains limited.

Video contributed by Alexis Lacy

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. When firefighters arrived on the scene, there were visible smoke and flames coming from the windows, but as of 1 p.m. it was unclear whether the fire started on the lower or upper floor, he said.

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Aside from extinguishing the then-active fire, fire crews' priority Tuesday afternoon was locating all the evacuated residents, Weymier said. It's unclear how many residents will be displaced, he said, but he roughly estimated up to 24 people might have been impacted.

"We're just trying to figure out who was all there and displaced, if there was any get them to Red Cross and get them a place to stay, because they won't be able to go back in," he said.

Neighbor Alexis Lacy said she first noticed the fire around 12:30 p.m. when she was driving home from Walmart. At that time, the smoke was so thick, she said her headlights automatically switched on.

"It's scary, living so close to it," she said. "It just broke my heart."

It is the third residential fire in Grand Forks in four days. Grand Forks fire crews responded to a fire on the 3500 block of 10th Avenue North on Saturday afternoon , April 3. The occupants of the single story home were displaced, and a dog was killed in the fire.

Later that same night, crews were called to 1100 block of Hammerling Avenue for another house fire that also displaced the residents of the home.

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