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Published December 06, 2013, 11:04 AM

Fire destroys Minot apartments under construction

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Residents of a 32-unit apartment building in Minot were back home Friday after being evacuated a day earlier due to a blaze that destroyed a nearby apartment building under construction and sent flaming debris across a large area.

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Residents of a 32-unit apartment building in Minot were back home Friday after being evacuated a day earlier due to a blaze that destroyed a nearby apartment building under construction and sent flaming debris across a large area.

Authorities did not immediately determine the cause of the fire that destroyed a portion of the Chateau Apartment complex. Damage was estimated in the millions of dollars. No injuries were reported, according to the Minot Daily News and KXMC-TV.

Some major streets had to be closed while firefighters worked in subzero temperatures to fight the flames and protect nearby businesses. Flaming debris that flew into the air landed as far as 2 miles away, causing a few minor secondary fires.

"Luckily there was snow on the ground and on the roofs," Fire Chief C.J. Craven said. "On a dry day in the summer that can really be a problem. We did some chasing, but I don't think there were any spot fires that amounted to anything at all."

The apartment building was scheduled to open next summer. It was being rebuilt because it burned down in early 2012, after being damaged by Souris River flooding the previous year.

"I've been a fireman for 33 years and I don't think I've ever seen a fire in a duplicate spot like that," Craven said.

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