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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 07, 2012, 05:30 PM

Huge apartment fire is under investigation in Fargo

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The Fargo Fire Department is investigating what started a huge fire at an unfinished apartment on Dakota Drive in Fargo this morning.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The Fargo Fire Department is investigating what started a huge fire at an unfinished apartment on Dakota Drive in Fargo this morning.

The fire is not the only odd incident at the construction site, It had recently been burglarized.

By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the building was already engulfed in flames. The blaze was visible from blocks away and lit up the entire neighborhood.

Brett Sinner/Neighbor: "I was just sleeping, and I woke up randomly and my blinds were all orange and shining on me. I was like, "what is this? What's going on?" So, I look out my window and there's like, 20 feet flames."

Those flames reached heights of 40 feet, destroying the the unfinished apartment building, and evacuating residents in a building to the east.

Firefighters used about 150-thousand gallons of water to douse the flames.

Now, investigators are trying to find out just what happened.

Because of the extensive damage, they had to bring in heavy equipment to move the burned debris in order to find where and how it started.

The building had no roof or siding yet, making it vulnerable once ignited.

Randy Weiss/Fargo Fire Dept.: "When the wind can get to it and the air can squeak through there and feed the fire and it can blow through it, it's burning unchecked. Yeah, it's all raw wood, like you see, sheeting and plywood and 2x6s so yeah it burns pretty quickly and spreads pretty fast."

Just Thursday morning, construction workers reported that some tools had been stolen after a break-in at the site.

Fargo Police say they can't investigate whether the incidents are related until they know whether the fire was caused by arson.

No one was injured in the fire, and firefighters kept the surrounding buildings safe.

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