Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Apartment fire total: $790,000 in damage

Friday's blaze that burned the roof off a 12-plex apartment building in Grand Forks caused about $790,000 in damage, a fire department official said Monday.

Encased in ice
Fire Marshal Bruce Hoeger emerges from the burned-out Roughrider Apartments building Monday. Herald photo by Eric Hylden.

Friday's blaze that burned the roof off a 12-plex apartment building in Grand Forks caused about $790,000 in damage, a fire department official said Monday.

Battalion Chief Rod Hadland said damage to the three-story building at 2530 17th Ave. S. was estimated at $550,000, and damage to the tenants' belongings was put at $240,000.

Firefighters first went to the building Thursday night because of a fire in a third-floor unit. Fire Marshal Bruce Hoeger said two men had been in the unit, but they went to the grocery store, leaving oil cooking in a pot on an electric stove.

"Watch what you heat," Hoeger said. "It's one of the worst things you could do is leave the stove on and leave the house."

Hoeger said the men lived in the unit that was rented by their mother. Their names were not released.


Fire crews put out the fire in that unit and left the scene that night. But they returned Friday morning to fight the second blaze, which destroyed the roof and damaged the third floor.

As firefighters used hoses to douse the blaze, all three floors sustained water damage. Cold temperatures caused the water to freeze, coating much of the building in ice.

Fire officials have speculated that the second fire was a result of the first fire rekindling. However, Hoeger said the cause of the second fire remains under investigation, and that the two fires are currently being treated as separate incidents.

Hoeger said the second blaze appears to have started in the attic-space above the unit where the first fire began.

No one was injured in either blaze. Hoeger said he's not sure if anyone will face criminal charges as a result of the fire investigations.

The American Red Cross has provided at least some form of assistance to almost all of the 18 residents who lived in the building, said Tom Tezel of the agency's local chapter.

Hadland said firefighters went in the building Sunday to retrieve certain items for residents, such as medicine. "It was just pure necessities," he said of what was salvaged.

The company that managed the apartments, Investors Management and Marketing, has returned the tenants' security deposits and their rent for the remaining days of the month because the building is uninhabitable, said Dan Holwegner, IMM's vice president of operations.


Holwegner said the company has placed five tenants in other apartments it oversees. He said the rest of the residents are looking for apartments elsewhere or staying with friends or relatives.

He said the building's owner will decide what to do with the structure after an insurance adjuster inspects it today.

The building, which is part of the Roughrider apartment complex, was constructed in 1975.

Reach Ingersoll at (701) 780-1269; (800) 477-6572, ext. 269; or send e-mail to aingersoll@gfherald.com .

What To Read Next
Get Local