WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 12, 2012, 09:23 PM

Three roommates barely escape an apartment fire in Fargo

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Three roommates were all home this afternoon when smoke started pouring into their apartment.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Three roommates were all home this afternoon when smoke started pouring into their apartment.

The fire caused extensive damage to the South end of the High Point West Apartments and has displaced the tenants.

They had seconds to grab whatever they could, one grabbed a laptop, the other his cat, the other a game system.

Now the three are just happy to have escaped, injury free, for the most part.

Jacob Garramore/Apartment damaged: "Everyone was pretty much grabbing whatever they could and running out of the apartment."

Nick Dolley was in the shower when he heard the commotion.

Nick Dolley/Apartment damaged: "Jake comes over and says there is a fire and it didn't dawn on me until I smelled smoke and felt flame, and I was like "Oh, crap, okay!"

Annie Motschenbacher was napping.

Annie Motschenbacher/Apartment Damaged: "And these guys rush in the room, and they're like, "The apartment is on fire." I thought they were just trying to wake me up, but eventually I got up and realized they were serious. I saw the smoke and then I just put clothes on and ran on the door."

As the three look at their fire-damaged apartment, shivering and huddled in blankets, they're just happy to be alive.

Nick Dolley: "I was in the entry way and the door slammed shut when the fire alarm went off. So I had to go out the door with the flames in it."

It was one of multiple apartment fires on a windy Friday afternoon in Fargo.

Matt Nelson: "It's certainly the right mix of conditions to make fire a much bigger possibility."

The fire department won't definitively say what the cause is yet, but believe the fire likely because of high winds and a cigarette.

Nelson: "Grass is dry, shrubs are dry, everyone's vegetation is dry around their homes, even the mulch and potted plants are dry, so if you're a smoker make sure you're using the proper ashtray."

All three roommates have a place to stay, and at least they know their most important possessions are safe.

Dolley: "To be honest, growing up in the technology age, I grabbed my most expensive possession and everyone else that could run, made sure they did."

There are no damage estimates yet on the blaze as it remains under investigation.

Fire officials are reminding people, despite some wet conditions this week, much of the area remains very dry and people still need to be cautious.