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Archie Ingersoll, Published May 12 2009

Grand Forks police save GF mother, child from fire

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Police officers here rescued a woman and her child from an apartment fire Monday.

About 2 p.m., Cpl. Jay Middleton responded to a call from Nikki Salinas at 422 S. Fifth St., who said she was trapped in her apartment because of a fire, a police department news release said.

Upon arriving, Middleton found the front door of Salinas’ second-floor apartment on fire. The blaze also had spread to a nearby wall and outdoor staircase.

Middleton sprayed the fire with an extinguisher. He then ripped a screen door and opened the main door to Salinas’ smoke-filled apartment, and Salinas handed her child to him.

Middleton gave the child to Sgt. Kevin Kallinen and went back to escort Salinas and her cat to safety. The corporal used a second extinguisher to put out the rest of the blaze.

Battalion Chief Rob Corbett of the Grand Forks Fire Department said cigarettes in a plastic coffee can outside Salinas’ door ignited carpeting and siding, eventually creating a blaze that caused the propane tank of a tabletop grill to explode, he said.

No one was injured in the fire, Corbett said.

The Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.