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Forum staff reports, Published August 03 2012

UPDATED: Fargo apartment house fire causes estimated $85,500 in damage

FARGO – Basement tenants of a three-plex apartment house at 810 2nd St. N. escaped uninjured Thursday night from a cooking grease fire that caused an estimated $85,500 in damage, Assistant Fire Chief LeRoy Skarloken said.

Firefighters received a report at 8:30 p.m. of a cooking grease fire in the basement of the converted single-family home.

When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the basement window and doors, with moderate to heavy smoke in the house.

Crews from the first engine pulled a hose line to the basement to control the fire, while two other crews searched for possible victims on the floors above, according to a Fire Department news release. Crews determined the other residents were not home, but found a healthy dog and cat during the search.

The fire caused considerable damage to the basement apartment, while damage extended to the walls of the main and second floors, and there was heavy smoke damage to household items.

The fire caused an estimated $64,000 in property damage and $21,500 in content damage, Skarloken said.

Displaced tenants are temporarily being housed with the assistance of the Red Cross.

The Moorhead Fire Department, Fargo Police Department, Fargo-Moorhead ambulance and the Salvation Army also responded to the fire.

Firefighters have yet to officially determine the cause of the fire, but tenant statements seem to indicate that it was accidental after a male tenant was cooking in the basement and it escalated into a grease fire, Skarloken said.

The incident is still under investigation.