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Published September 10 2012

Arson investigation under way into fire that burned Fargo apartment building under construction

FARGO – Police here are investigating as arson a fire that heavily damaged a partially built apartment building on Friday, Lt. Joel Vettel said Monday.

Fire investigators ruled out all accidental forms of ignition, but they couldn’t determine how the fire was set because of the extent of damage to the structure at 1900 Dakota Drive N., Fargo Fire Marshal Norm Scott said.

“It was started on purpose, but by who, I don’t know,” he said.

The fire was set in the middle of the two-story structure, toward the south end, Scott said. It was reported at about 4:20 a.m.

Fargo police are reviewing surveillance video from the area for possible leads, Vettel said.

“We’ve talked to a number of people in the area in reference to the case,” he said, declining to elaborate.

Police also are looking into whether a car fire at around 4 a.m. Saturday at 1440 Dakota Drive may be related to the structure fire, Vettel said.

Scott said fire investigators couldn’t determine the cause of the car fire or whether it was accidental or intentional. The blaze destroyed the car and damaged a second vehicle.

Scott asked that anyone with information about the fires call him at (701) 241-8139.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528