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The fire at a downtown apartment building on Feb. 26 was a challenging incident for the Minot Fire Department, and there are lessons to be learned from the fire.
The Hall’s Apartment building, with 28 separate apartment units, began burning shortly after midnight on Feb. 26. Firefighters from all four of Minot’s fire stations and many off-duty firefighters responded to the scene. All occupants of the building were evacuated safely.
The Fire Department’s investigation team classified the fire’s cause as undetermined, according to Fire Marshal Dean Lenertz. The building has been deemed unsafe by City of Minot building inspectors and has been secured. No one should try to enter the structure.
“We’ve completed our initial investigation, but we are still processing a lot of information,” Lenertz said. “Due to the compromised integrity of the structure, it’s been very difficult for the investigation team to determine a direct cause. At this time, an incendiary fire is not suspected.”
Fire Department officials will use a security video from a nearby building to help them assess the Fire Department’s response, and to study the actions of the fire.
“We’re very thankful to have been provided with the video,” Fire Chief Kelli Kronschnabel said. “It has helped us understand what happened that night, and it will assist us moving forward in studying fire behaviors as well as our department’s response, tactics, and operations. The video is very valuable information for us to have.”
Kronschnabel said every fire is unique, and each incident has different factors that firefighters take into account, depending on the building’s construction, available ventilation, how long the fire has been burning unchecked, and its location within the building.
“This was a very challenging fire for our department, but there are a lot of valuable lessons to be learned,” she said.
Some operational details from the fire include: