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Associated Press, Published May 19 2010

Apartment residents lucky in Beach, N.D., fire

BEACH, N.D. — The longtime owners of a clothing store in Beach are weighing the future of the business after a weekend fire in the historic building in which Town and Country Clothing operated.

The Groll family has owned the business for 14 years. Sonja Groll says business had been slow because of the poor economy and a decision hasn't been made about the store's future.

Fire Chief Dan Buchholz says the fire late Sunday started in an upstairs apartment, where the occupants apparently were frying fish and fell asleep while the food was on the stove.

Sonja Groll and two others happened to be in the store and heard the fire alarm. Buchholz says that was fortunate, because occupants of the upstairs apartments all were sleeping and might not have made it out otherwise.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.