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Forum staff reports, Published February 25 2013

Moorhead apartment fire caused by radio catching fire on stovetop range

MOORHEAD – A fire Saturday that forced the evacuation of part of an eight-story apartment building here was caused by a stovetop range that was accidentally turned on, starting a portable radio on fire, Assistant Fire Marshal Chad Stangeland said.

Firefighters responded to a call at 11 a.m. Saturday at Park View Terrace apartments, 100 3rd St. N.

The fire started in the kitchen of a third-floor unit, setting off the fire alarm. About 30 tenants left their apartment units during the fire, Stangeland stated in a news release.

The tenant of the unit that contained the fire was taken by F-M Ambulance for treatment of smoke inhalation, and one other tenant was treated on scene for smoke inhalation.

The kitchen sustained heavy fire and smoke damage, while the rest of the apartment unit had heavy to moderate smoke damage. Damage was limited to the unit and a small area in the hallway, with a preliminary damage estimate of about $6,000, the release stated.

Stangeland said the tenant said he never uses the range and it must have gotten bumped.

Stangeland emphasized the importance of keeping the range top and all heat appliances clear of any contents that can catch on fire.