Authorities suspect foul play with fatal Moorhead fireMoorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - Federal agents with the A-T-F and the Minnesota B-C-A has joined Moorhead detectives after a tragic fire in south Moorhead today. Two people are dead in what is "suspected foul play." Two were injured in a fire that is being treated as a crime scene.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
It happened just off 9th street and 9th Avenue south in Moorhead between the MSUM and Concordia campuses. The names of the two who died are not being released. Authorities say it appears the victims are two adults. Two others living in the tri-plex were brought to Meritcare with non-life threatening injuries.
“Guys found heavy fire and we found people at windows trying to get out they could not get out so we actually rescued two people from the second floor.”
A massive Federal, State and Local Investigative team of Detectives, Fire Marshalls and Crime Scene experts have been at the South Moorhead tri-plex all day. What investigators want to know? The basics of course. What started this fire that killed two and if a crime is connected to it, who did it?
Joseph Morlen and his 2-year old daughter Polly barely got out of their smoke filled apartment, just feet away from the burning apartment where the two died.
“I smelled it, got up and looked around, and I saw smoke in the house and it was getting worse and so I grabbed the baby and got clothes out the door.”
Joseph and Polly along with a half dozen others left homeless after the fire are getting help from Salvation Army and Red Cross.
“That could be us, that could be us. Glad I was up.”
Meantime, within an hour of the fire, detectives and investigators from ATF-BCA and State Fire Marshal's office joined Moorhead police. And late this afternoon, a BCA Crime Scene Lab showed up to help piece puzzle together. What clearly is no ordinary case.
“At this time we don't have all the answers the fire the people all of these questions need to be answered.”
The bodies of the two fire victims are on the way to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office for autopsy. The last fatal fire in Moorhead was December of 2005. It was 1995 that a mother and her Six children died in a South Moorhead duplex fire.
Our winter weather made it difficult for Moorhead firefighters to battle the fire. Crews had a difficult time trying to open up one of the hydrants. While firefighters were able to get thru deep snow to access the hydrant, cold temperatures and conditions today made it almost impossible to get the hydrant cranked on.