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Forum News Service, Published February 10 2013

Fire breaks out in Grand Forks polka-dotted house

GRAND FORKS – A fire started Saturday night in a well-known house on the corner of Sixth Street North and University Avenue in Grand Forks.

The Grand Forks Fire Department was dispatched at 10:48 p.m. to the house, at 523 University Ave., which garnered some notoriety last year when its owner painted the house with polka dots.

When firefighters arrived, there was smoke coming from a second-floor window and there was still one occupant inside, according to a release early Sunday from Battalion Chief Chad Cutshaw of the fire department.

That person was located and carried outside to paramedics for transport to Altru Hospital. No information has been released on the person’s condition. Officials said late Saturday that six or seven people appear to have been living in the house and several of them were in the house when the fire occurred.

The fire was extinguished quickly, the fire department release said, but the there was considerable smoke damage on the second floor.

The cause of the fire has not been released and it remains under investigation by the fire department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The American Red Cross provided assistance to the displaced occupants shortly after the fire; it is suspected that they will not be able to return to their apartments for some time, the release said.

The Fire Department was also assisted by the Grand Forks Police Department and Altru Ambulance.