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At 3:28 pm on Sunday, December 11, the Bismarck Fire Department responded to 131 E. Bismarck Expressway, for a report of a fire in a 12-unit apartment building. Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the windows of a third floor apartment and around the adjoining roofline of the building. Firefighters advanced hose lines to the third floor to attack the fire, while other crews conducted a search of all three levels of the building to verify that all occupants had escaped or been evacuated. The bulk of the fire was knocked down within 12-15 minutes of the first engine’s arrival on scene. The fire was confined to the apartment of origin and the third floor hallway. There was heavy smoke damage to the other units on the third floor. Domestic water lines in the kitchen of the fire apartment had come apart due to the intensity of the fire, causing water damage to the two apartments below it.
Residents of all of the units in the building were able to evacuate on their own, and there were no injuries to residents or firefighters.
There was heavy fire damage to the apartment of origin, along with smoke damage throughout the rest of the third floor. Preliminary fire loss estimates are likely in excess of $100,000. The cause of the fire appears to have been a grease fire on the stove of the involved apartment.
The building was turned over to the building manager, who was working to get utilities turned back on to as many apartments as safely possible. Some occupants will be displaced due to the damage. Displaced residents were referred to the Red Cross by the Bismarck Crisis Care Chaplaincy, to provide temporary housing assistance.