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Helmut Schmidt, Published March 03 2012

One injured in south Fargo motel fire; man using oxygen tank lit cigarette

FARGO – One man was injured in a fire Saturday night at the Grand Inn at 3402 14th Ave. S., a Fire Department spokesman said.

The blaze was reported about 8 p.m., and when crews arrived, they found a fire in room No. 149 on the first floor in the northwest corner of the building.

After entering the room, firefighters quickly knocked down the fire. A man inside the room was taken to Essentia Health in Fargo to be treated for smoke inhalation, Assistant Fire Chief LeRoy Skarloken said.

No condition report on the man was immediately available, Skarloken said.

Skarloken said the injured man told firefighters that he used an oxygen tank to ease his breathing, and that the fire started when he tried to light a cigarette.

The room appeared covered in soot and was heavily damaged by the fire, Skarloken said, but the concrete block construction of the building helped contain the blaze.

One man was removed from the second floor of the motel by ladder truck as a precaution due to smoke in the halls, however, he was not injured, Skarloken said.

Four fire engines, a ladder truck, a rescue truck and a command vehicle were dispatched to the fire as a precaution because it was a commercial building, Skarloken said.

By 9 p.m., the halls were cleared of smoke, but the smell of smoke permeated to the lobby in the center of the building.

Skarloken praised motel staff for quickly evacuating the inn. Most of the guests were allowed to return to their rooms, but about a quarter of the motel’s guests were moved to other hotels.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583