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John Lamb, Published January 27 2013

West Fargo storage unit fire gives firefighters a scare

WEST FARGO – A storage unit fire late Sunday afternoon damaged one vehicle and rattled the nerves of some West Fargo firefighters.

West Fargo Fire Chief Roy Schatschneider said a call came in shortly after 4:30 p.m. reporting smoke from a unit at M&B Storage, 955 Armour St., West Fargo.

West Fargo Fire Department was on the scene six minutes later and firefighters forced open the overhead door to discover an engine fire in a vehicle. The fire was contained to the vehicle and extinguished within in 20 minutes, Schatschneider said, adding that there was extensive smoke damage to items in the unit.

Firefighters got a scare when they heard a loud bang, which turned out to be an airbag deploying.

Schatschneider said storage units, like this garage-like space, have to be approached with caution because it’s not known what is kept inside.

“We always have to be careful because we don’t have control over what people keep in there,” he said, adding that it wouldn’t be uncommon to find gasoline in such a space.

He said the fire was “more than likely electrical in origin.”

Joe Karvonen spotted the fire when he showed up at the adjacent spot to work and noticed the smoke.


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533