FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A man died and a woman was transported to a Minnesota burn unit Saturday morning after rescuers pulled them from a burning three-story apartment building in Fargo, authorities said.
Crews arrived about 5:30 a.m. after receiving a 911 call and noticed fire in a second-floor patio door, Assistant Fire Chief Leroy Skarloken said. One family had already escaped by jumping from a balcony.
Firefighters began attacking the flames in a second-floor apartment and removed two victims from the unit. Jesse Daniel Madson, 30, died at the scene, and 42-year-old Angela Marie Wentz was transported to a Minnesota burn unit. Her condition was not immediately known.
Residents told KFGO-AM that they awoke to smoke alarms and there was thick black smoke in the building’s second- and third-floor hallways.
Skarloken said several other residents were rescued by firefighters from third-floor balconies. Crews then searched the entire building and evacuated all remaining residents, he said. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army were assisting residents with temporary housing and other needs.
Skarloken said the fire heavily damaged the one apartment and inflicted moderate smoke and water damage to the rest of the building. He said steel siding on the building’s exterior helped prevent the fire from spreading to the third floor and attic.
Smoke detectors were present and the alarm system was sounding when crews entered the building, he said. It took about 15 minutes for the 23 responding firefighters to extinguish the two-alarm blaze.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated.
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