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Published October 13, 2010, 03:42 PM

Public's help sought in Fargo fire probe

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Investigators sought the public's help Thursday as they tried to determine the cause of an apartment fire in Fargo that displaced about 150 people and killed several pets.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Investigators sought the public's help Thursday as they tried to determine the cause of an apartment fire in Fargo that displaced about 150 people and killed several pets.

Authorities have sent soil and deck board samples to the state crime lab. Firefighters say they don't suspect foul play, but the testing will help rule out any type of ignitable liquid in the blaze, Inspector John Arens told The Forum newspaper.

The Fire Department said in a statement that investigators have determined that Monday night's blaze at the Galleria apartment complex started on the deck of a first-floor apartment on the west side of the complex.

The department is asking people to come forward if they know of any unusual activity in that area, or if they saw anyone smoking in that area before the fire. The department also is seeking early photos of the fire, Arens said.

The Red Cross has worked with 120 Galleria residents, helping provide them with food, clothing and medical items such as prescriptions, contact lenses and glasses. The United Way of Cass-Clay's fund for the fire victims raised more than $3,000 in the first 24 hours.

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