Plymouth Apartment Fire Displaces 150 People

GALLERY: Aerials Of Plymouth Apt. Fire Damage

PLYMOUTH, Minn. (WCCO) — More than 150 people are out of their homes after flames tore through an apartment building in Plymouth early Friday morning.

It happened around 1 a.m. at the Parkside Apartments at Medicine Lake.

About 17 fire departments were called out to the five-alarm fire.

One man suffered smoke inhalation and is being hospitalized for it.

Three firefighters were also injured. One was treated on the scene for heat exhaustion. The other two were brought to the hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion, and a non-life threatening injury.

There were 36 apartments badly damaged by the fire, smoke or water. The building has 72 units total.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s the side of my building.’ It’s really, really close. All my stuff is gone. We have no renters insurance — not good,” said Amy Biegert, who lives in the apartment building.

The residents who could, were allowed to look at their apartments at 8 a.m.

The Red Cross is also helping those who need help finding a place to stay. They deployed a mobile feeding truck to provide water and snacks, and client caseworkers to assess immediate needs. Health services have been the greatest need, they said.

Crews don’t know yet what caused the fire, but they are investigating. Firefighters said a cause likely won’t be determined for four to five days. One resident said they noticed a person had paper lanterns with an open flame underneath the lanterns, but fire crews say it is still to early to know the cause.

  • Dave's Not Here

    If you’re not smart enough to have renters insurance, are you really smart enough to be living on your own?

  • Gary Olson

    to the person who was judgemental about not having renters insurance, consider this:
    Sometimes it not about choice but rather economics. Perhaps they just can not afford the added expense. Even if you have it, it could take months for reimbursement. Remember insurance companies are not there out of the kindness of thier hearts, they are profit motivated. If you are out on your own, doesn’t necessarily mean by choice but by necessity. And things like couches may have monetary value but picture albums have no monetary value but could be considered priceless in the eye of the beholder. Since both ny parents are gone, and yes I do have renters insurance, I can always buy more furniture, but never replace a family picture, 3 generation old china, etc. Please consider all aspects of damages, before you judge people.

    • Dave's Not Here

      “Sometimes it not about choice but rather economics. Perhaps they just can not afford the added expense.”

      If they can’t afford $60-100 per year, they should be living out of their van. That’s like saying a person bought a car but it was just too spendy for insurance.

      Well how much will it cost to replace their belongings? More than that $100? I would guess so.

  • mpd

    While I am grateful that everyone is safe, why does it appear that Plymouth seems to have a high number of apartment fires? Same with Burnsville.

    • Coolbreeze

      That’s it…I’m moving.

    • Penny

      I agree with Rachel….materials are what gives the fire more fuel to burn. You rarely hear of this many apartment fires coming out of St. Paul, Minneapolis, or any of the surrouding suburbs…..

    • JJ

      because they are 2 of the metro communities with the most apartment complexes.

      • Rachel

        I think it could also be because of cheaply made buildings with highly combustible materials. If this was a brick/cement building, the result might not have been as devastating

        • Bilo

          Agree. I delver to this building in Plymouth. Not to surprise on this building going up in flames. Heck of a week for the apts in Plymouth. First the Plymouth Oaks apartments that started on fire last weekend now has mushrooms growing inside it. Now this one goes up in flames. Wonder when the Parker Lake Apts are next.

  • Blaze

    Apartment buildings built before 1975 seem to be made mostly of brick. Anything after that seems to be wood based. No wonder some of these places burn up as fast as a dry forest in the West.

  • smoke in my lungs

    Please remember, that this was a very hot day. Air conditioners were going and windows were open. These are prime ingredients for fires to spread very quickly, as the air is being sucked into the building, instead of being held out. There is not just one factor that made this fire spread as quickly as it did, as is being suggested by the previous posts – a building made of wood, etc. Also, decks spread fires pretty rapidly because of what is kept on them: candles, rugs, clothing, wood furniture, etc.

    Did you know that residential furniture is not fire rated to the same standards as commercial furniture? This means that the foam in sofas and chairs, and the upholstery fabrics are not self extinguishing, or take longer to combust? Think about all of the personal files, towels, clothing, rugs, and just plain stuff that you have in your place. Now think about what you know other people have, whether it be friends or family. Don’t be so judgmental about the building itself, It is the stuff that goes up in flames first, then the building.

    Any building is susceptible to fire, and one of the reasons is how careless the people who inhabit them are.

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