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Fire damages south Grand Forks apartments

An early morning fire today caused an estimated $20,000 in property damage to an apartment building at 3435 S 10th St. The fire damage was contained to two apartments, Capt. Kelli Flermoen said in a news release.

An early morning fire today caused an estimated $20,000 in property damage to an apartment building at 3435 S 10th St. The fire damage was contained to two apartments, Capt. Kelli Flermoen said in a news release.

There was no report of any injuries. A fire department spokesman said later this morning that residents of apartment units affected by the fire were offered assistance through the Red Cross and Salvation Army but apparently were able to find shelter with family members or friends and declined the help. Residents of the other apartments were allowed to return to their units.

The first of five fire vehicles arrived at 12:07 a.m. and reported smoke in the building's garden level floor. The fire was found in the bathroom of a unit on that floor and already had extended to the apartment above; it was quickly knocked down, but "it was minutes away from being an all-nighter," said Rick Coulter, a battalion chief with the fire department.

The Grand Forks fire marshal's office indicated late this morning that the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the fire started in the vicinity of an exhaust fan in the bathroom of apartment no. 6.

The fire department reminds residents to replace and test smoke detector batteries and practice fire home escape plans.

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