By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

PLYMOUTH (WCCO) — A five-alarm fire broke out in a Plymouth apartment complex late Monday afternoon, damaging many of the residents’ homes, according to authorities.

Hennepin County Dispatch confirmed they received a report at 4:47 p.m. of an apartment fire at the Plymouth Oaks Apartments, which is located on 3301 Highway 169.

Deputy Plymouth Fire Chief Kip Springer said authorities believe everyone in the burning section of the building got out safely. Springer said authorities believe the fire started on the third floor but it’s too early to say how it started.

Twenty-four units were damaged. It appeared on scene that the top floor of one wing was destroyed. As of 10 p.m. Monday night they were still putting out hot spots.

Nine different fire departments were on scene helping to put the fire out.

Animal Control was also called out to help remove pets from the building. They’re not sure yet how many might be missing.

One firefighter and two residents were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Red Cross is on the scene and will provide housing to those who need it.

This isn’t the first fire at the apartment. On Feb. 9, 2008, the apartment had to be evacuated due to a fire. Also, on July 12, 2007, a fire gutted a large part of the third floor, which left dozens homeless.

Comments (76)
  1. E.H. says:

    wow, this apartments has had three fires in the past few years. A whole section of one of the complex was just rebuilt last year due to fire damage. I hope everybody and their pets got out safe

    1. Charlie Anderson says:

      I live there and they did.

      1. SG says:

        I’m not trying to be unsympathetic. I feel horribly for these people. But how come people keep renting there? Don’t they realize what might happen?

      2. A.H. says:

        Fires can and do happen anywhere! We live here because we have a GREAT Landlord, there are Many LONGTERM tennants (I’ve lived here 14 yrs) Our Landlord/Owner Gary not only maintains a safe ;but responds to any tenant needs very promptly. The fire of 07, tho technically electric was due to Tenant not reporting a short in his A.C. I know first hand because the Tenand told me and he lived nextdoor!That same year 07 a 5 alarm fire occured in Burnsville several of my friends lived there,months later our cleanup had been completed and a new building almost comleted (was completed in February where many long time residents like myself returned) The burnsville Apts were still in the begging stages of cleanup! Gary and all his Staff take care of his longtime residents! Its a big building some Tenants will always come and go, but we have a wonderful SAFE, Pet Friendly Community and will remain here!For that matter why did the people of New Orleans go back? Or those who live in flood prone areas?

    2. CJ says:

      To all who live in the apartment, know that we have been praying for your situation. We are thankful that everyone is safe yet are saddened by your loss. Know that we will continue to pray for you as you rebuild your lives & sort out the pieces that were left behind.

  2. sml says:

    we were just talking about this – that it was time for Mallard Ridge or Plymouth Oaks to burn….thats not good

  3. ImThinking says:

    3??? That’s a lot!!!

  4. Laurie says:

    I lived there 4 years ago, and my apartment was one that was damaged in their big fire in July of 2007. I feel so bad for these people and of course, the owner Gary Brummer. He’s such a nice guy and I hate to see this happening to him and his family again. I guess it goes to show you, how easily it can happen even when it’s an old building. It such an awlful thing to go through and feel so bad for those people. Hope all the people and pets get out…my thoughts and praryers are with all of you.

  5. EMP says:

    I live off 169 in Golden Valley and have been hearing the rescue teams for over an hour now- I pray all are safe and have a bed to sleep in tonight!


  6. Aaron says:

    If you have an Android phone you can download a free app called Scanner Radio – you can listen to fire & police calls, including this one. I am right now and it sounds like the fire is mostly on the east side of the building in the attic and at least some of the firefighters were having problems with water pressure.

  7. KA says:

    My sister lives at this apartment complex and called when it first started. I am worried sick as I can’t reach her since she called. I live far away and have been trying to find any news online and was glad to see this site and your comments. Thank you and please send any new updates if you are able to.

  8. KH says:

    Everyone got out unharmed. I am just waiting to hear back from management of whether or not I can go home there and sleep tonight. Probebly not. There will be mighty smoke damage. If I find out that this was all started because someone was careless, I will be so mad..

  9. KA says:

    Is it in the apartments on the furthest South end by the big garage?

  10. KA says:

    Where are all the residents right now? Have they been bussed somewhere?

  11. KH says:

    Management told me the fire started in the 370’s. So all the 370’s, 270’s, and 170’s were affected. I am in the 260’s.

  12. CDS says:

    Us residents are still at the building. In the parking lot and safe areas. There seems to be some problems with water pressure. It appeared to be almost out then the water stopped and it blazed back up.

    1. A.H. says:

      Yes a complaint should be filed against Plymouth Fire Dept. I am one of the tenants who lost everything in the fire of 07, I HELPED a fireman with a rotorooter looking thing he worked on the fire hydrant, I watch the Apt where it started ( a new Resident had a short in his a.c. and failed to report it to management He told me that himself! So th it was ‘technically” electric it was mostly Tenant negligence! He was by my side (the Tenant) as we watched the apt. smoke for 45 min while the fire trucks/firemen were helpless because they claimed they had “flushed the hydrants shortly bere the fire and thus had NO WATER) yet on the fire of Feb.08, no hydrants were “flushe” and we still had “no pressure”! Now on fire number 3 with full knowledge PFD had NOT resoved the “pressure” problem they send “dry” trucks! I was here WATCHING with the Firemen with “ISSUES”. Yes their “response time” was fast so they could hangout with all the tenants WATCHING the APTS and PETS bun (3 dogs and a cat died) A tenant BEGGED a Fireman to open the (inside hall door) with his ax but he was threatned with Jail!!!!

  13. KH says:

    CDS… Please be safe! What apt are you in?

  14. CDS says:

    We are in the 340’s around the corner from the area that is burning.

  15. Wendy Holmes says:

    I know a number of people who live in this complex, including my sister and nephew. I just got off the phone with her… she lives at the other end of the building. She’s okay. She says “this one is really bad”. They know which apt. it started in, but not how it started. She talked to a man who is heartbroken – he lost his dogs. Gail was living directly below the apt. the fire started in – she lost everything. Please pray for everyone – give them hope and strength.

  16. KH says:

    Oh no! I am so scared! This is HORRIBLE!

  17. JS says:

    I am so sorry you have to go through that. I use to live there. Glad you are safe.

  18. KH says:

    I am at work actualy. Found out about when I went to WCCO to check the weather. I am scared to go home…

  19. Jessie says:

    SO glad to see this post. I live in Plymouth Oaks in the 240’s corridor. I was just going home from work & was shocked to see what was going on. I saw buses heading in when I was turning around @ 6pm. I hope everyone is ok. If you’re onsite, please keep us posted. I would like to at least go see my apartment tonight.

  20. CDS says:

    KH, it looks under control, I think you will be safe where your apartment is. The fire spread toward the garages by 169 more and stopped at the middle stairs on that side. Also they are now bussing tenants from that side someplace.

  21. Sheila says:

    At least 2 ambulances left with people, one is a firefighter. We were told its going to be a while before we can get back in. There are rescue buses but we’re in our own vehicle. We live on other end of building. Its the newer south wing thats burning.

  22. Jenna Crabb says:

    my brother lives in the building and said that there were 2 dogs and a cat that were killed in the fire. thats so sad!

  23. KH says:

    Please be safe all! Let me know if they will let us back in around midnight tonight. That’s when I will be home from work. Thank you all! And please be safe to those of you who are there right now!

  24. Adam says:

    I’m here at the scene now. Skype me for live video coverage.

  25. KH says:

    I am at work and cannot do that. Please tell me that everyone is safe, though. What apartment are you in, Adam? Is your family safe?

  26. Jessie says:

    Can we get into our apartment now?

    1. BiggyUnder says:

      ya can stay with me if ya need to Jessie

  27. Charlie Anderson says:

    I live in these apartments, and the north half of the building has been ok’d to go back to their apartments. Some of the middle part I am unsure about.

  28. Jessie says:

    Thanks for the offer. I’m at my best friends house. I actually just called & spoke to management & they said I can get in my unit around 9:30p.

  29. KH says:

    Jessie… you said you are in the 240’s? I am in the building next to you, one closer to the fire. You can get in at 9:30? Please tell me that everyone is okay once you get there… will you?

  30. Lynda Maas-Young says:

    anyone hear anything about the 160,s?

    1. Adam says:

      Should be ok to go back soon

  31. KH says:

    Which one, Lynda? 60 and 62 are in one building, 64 and above are in the next building. I haven’t heard about either.

  32. KH says:

    Lynda, I am right above you. I haven’t heard anything yet. You have the little Jack Russell, right?

  33. KH says:

    You haven’t been home yet? I am at work until 11:30pm. I will be there shortly after to try to at least get clothes for the night. I will sleep elsewhere. I called management shortly after 6pm. I asked for them to call me at work when they were starting to allow us back in that section of the complex. Either they forgot or they aren’t letting us back in yet.

  34. Lynda Maas-Young says:

    no. I called about 1/2 hour ago and she said she didn’t know. She took my number and will call me whaen she knows anything.

  35. KH says:

    Do they know how much damage to our places? Is your dog okay?

    1. Lynda Maas-Young says:

      I am not the one who lives there. She is a friend of mine. She and the dog are both ok….We don’t know anything about the condition of the apartments yet.

  36. jw says:

    My son is one of the Plymouth firefighters, scared to hear that one firefighter and 3 residents were taken to hospital… waiting to hear. Fire is so devastating, sorry for all the residents. My husband and I lived there 36 years ago.. it was called Village Square at the time.. prayers for everyone…

  37. KH says:

    Thank you, JW. God bless your son. I really admire him. Tell him I thank him and all of his co-workers for all they do, not just on our complex.

    1. jw says:

      Thank you, I keep thinking that if it were him, they would call and let us know. I hope that you guys can get in and at least see how your apartments’s so hard not knowing!

  38. KH says:

    It is. I know that it’s not important. Things can be replace… clothes, computer, that stuff. It hurts even knowing that 3 were sent to the hospital. Even if it were minor, it’s still an injury. And yes, if it were him, you would be called. I know. I pray for your son. I pray for the other 2 in the hospital. I pray for the innocent animals that were lost in the fire. They never understood what was happening to them and certainly could not defend or save themselves.

  39. Jessie says:

    Ok, KH, I’m heading home now.

  40. KH says:

    Good luck, Jessie. Please be safe. Let me know how it goes. Walk by 260, will you? Let me know if I can get in? Thanks!

  41. NB says:

    Love you, Nern! You are a wonderful sister and can stay here as long as you need to. Your nephews and niece would love it. Allie and I prayed for you tonight.

  42. JV says:

    Nern…I am so glad that you were not home!!! I love you so very much and will do WHATEVER I can to help you!

  43. Jessie says:

    I’m down the street from the complex. Sitting in a long line of vehicles waiting to get it. The police says there’s nowhere to park right now because there are still numorous fire trucks in the lot. I park in one of the South Garages & won’t be able to get in there at all (according to the police).

  44. jw says:

    My son is safe and on his way home. Hope you all have a warm safe place to be tonight.

  45. KH says:

    Thank God, JW! Good luck, Jessie!

  46. Jessie says:

    Thanks KH! I’m home & my apt is fine. I walked down to 260 & all is well there too. The smell in the hall is very strong. But I spoke with one of your neighbors & a few other residents & you can’t smell it inside your unit. There’s no parking in either if the South garages for now & the lot wasn’t full when I got in. So, I hope you find parking ok.

  47. Mike says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I am extremely saddened to hear of this tragic loss.

  48. Lisa Anderson says:

    KH, they are letting people come into the complex.

  49. Tammy Westman says:

    I am so glad to hear my sister and nephew got out safely, My prayers are with them and everyone who lives there.

  50. Resident says:

    The word onsite is that a 4 yr old, who is known to be obsessed with fire, was playing with matches/a lighter while the parents were asleep. The previous 2 fires were preventable as well. One started by a guy who fell asleep on his couch with a bear in one hand and a cig in the other. He lit the couch, himself & some units on fire. The other fire was due to a short in an air conditioner. The resident moved in a couple of weeks before the fire & noticed a short but said he forgot to tell management. I ran into the owner in the hall & he calmly said, “We’ll rebuild”. I seriously love this place.

    1. H.M says:

      i saw the 4yr olds Dad he ran down in shorts the boy full of soot it is true he said the boy was “playing” wit a candle and matches when the carpet caught fire the kid panicked! The man awoke ONLY because of smoke odor!!The first fire the tenant DID NOT REPORT he had a short in his A.C. for about 2 wks! He was saying this outside when we wathed his apt burn (smoke coming out for almost an hour) there was no water pressure!The second a man fell asleep with a beer and a cig. caught himself and his couch on fire when he opened the window the apt. “exploded”!

  51. Nancy Aleshire says:

    If a child was playing with matches, the parents should be held responsible for negligence This is something “Intrusive Services” a.k. a Child Protection needs to be involved in. Matches and lighters should be kept out of the reach of children and better yet, people should not be smoking in homes where children are present. So many fires have been caused by smoking and those smokers should be held responsible. I live in an apartment complex in Brooklyn Park and we had a fire last year caused by someone’s careless smoking.

    1. G.S. says:

      I agree and for child NEGLECT!The kid was not smoking he was “lighting matches on a candle” the father sleeping! I used to babysit him and he is very hyperactive!

  52. Kyle's not buying it says:

    Before I’d take that “onsite word” as gospel I think I may want to await the Firemarshall report. If it turns out to be something else the damage is done . People will always look at that family differentlt and think ….
    just saying …..
    btw-I loved matches when I was a kid. bet all knew that too. never caused a fire though
    90% of fires are preventable I suspect. Even the gas line explosions. Just a question of this – can things be inspected 24x7x365? 😉

    1. A.H. says:


  53. PV says:

    My Daughter & Son In Law were in an apartment fire a few years ago and lost everything. Gladly there were no deaths or injuries. They lived in Elk River. The community and businesses around there were awesome. A resident called the local restaurants and got food delivered to the school across the street. A church nearby was having a church sale and someone got the word out that people needed items replaced. Many of the residents in the area were having garage sales and donated their items to the church. All the people that lost items were able to go to the church and take the things they needed, to replace what was burned. The church had so many donations, they had to start turning them away because they had no room. If there is a church or school in the area that can take donations, please get it posted somewhere. There are many people out there that would like to help.

  54. Lynda Maas-Young says:

    So 160 is okay to go into. Could someone post this and let me know? KH are you in now, could you check and see if we can ge into 160. Is is real smoky olr watery in there because my friend has some medical issues that could be further accentuated by the atmosphere there.

  55. CJ says:

    God we lift up this Plymouth Apartment Complex & all the individuals whose lives are forever changed by the fire. We thank you that everyone is safe Lord! Lord we pray for those whose apartment is uninhabitable to be provided housing, whether it is with the Red Cross or a family member or a friend. Next I pray for those without renters insurance who lost many possessions in the fire. Lord I pray that you would help rebuild their homes in an area you have picked out for them. Lord I pray for financial support for these individuals as they put together what they lost. I pray that you would enable them to forgive those responsible for the fire. Lord I lift up those with renters insurance. Help them receive the full benefits due to them from the insurance company. God we pray that the insurance company would pay up all that is due to those under their policy. God I lift up any pets in the fire, & that all were kept safe. Lord we thank you for all the fire, police, and medical staff on hand to serve last night. Thank you Lord Jesus for how you served & protected those in the fire. Thank you God-Jesus-Holy Spirit for the works of your hand upon our city!

  56. Kristine says:

    I had lived at Plymouth Oaks for only 12-13 days when the first fire happened during the summer of 2007. I was told it was due to faulty wiring in the attic. The air conditioner story was just a rumor. My stuff was smoke and water damaged. I had renter’s insurance, but it took a full month to kick in. However, insurance is cheap and I don’t think anyone has a good enough excuse to live without it! The management did not refund my entire rent or security deposit, and I’m still frustrated by that. There’s something to be said for doing the right thing, rather than keeping the portion of rent and security deposit that is “non-refundable” according to the lease. They were also terrible about communicating to the residents. The Red Cross simply told me I couldn’t live there any more and that I could get a fire fighter to escort me to my unit so I could get some of my stuff.

  57. M.G.H. says:

    I hope Plymouth Fire Dept. reads this! I assisted one of your Firemen during the fire of July 2007 trying to “rotorooter” the hydrant! He said there was no pressure because they had “flushed” them shortly before the fire! The second fire in February they still had issues! This time the Firemen on site were still complaing of “issues”. Why were those “issues” not RESOLVED/addressed when they had FULL KNOWLEDGE of the issues from both previous fires? Why did they send the FireTrucks from S.L.P. FIRST instead of the dry ones? The S.L.P. Trucks have tons of water!!!I I spoke to the man who tried to climb up the balcony to SAVE his two dogs. It was HEARTBREAKING and SICKENING when we heard the BLOOD CURDLING screams of one of his dogs who LIVED through that HORROR only to be BADLY BURNED,IN SHOCK and have to be put down! Why didnt the FIREMEN BREAK THAT DOOR when he BEGGED them to? Instead they threatned him with JAIL!!! He (Josh should SUE the Plymouth Fire Dept. tho he is so DEVASTED over his LOSS he just keeps saying that “wont bring his dogs back”! His friend ALSO tried to get the Plymouth Firemen to break the hall door so he could save his friend’s dogs!!PLYMOUH FIRE DEPARTMENT NEEDS TO ANSWER for their NEGLIGENCE!!!!!

  58. AD says:

    That really makes me sick about the dogs and the fire dept not letting them even open the door quick to call for them etc… I did hear about that story from residents and I cant imagine trying to save your pet, someone standing in your way and threatening you with jail, and then to have to sit there and listen to your pet scream and burn to death. There should be something in the media about that situation…. That shoulnt have happened.

  59. Just Curious says:

    Did they ever determine the cause of the fire?

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