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At approximately 4:00 AM on Wednesday, June 5, the Central Dakota Communications Center received a report of a fire at an apartment building on the 600 block of South Washington Street. The Bismarck Fire Department was dispatched to investigate. The first arriving fire crew reported a three story, multi-family residential building with heavy flame smoke from showing from the third floor windows.
The fire crew established command and made contact with Bismarck Police Officers who reported that occupants were evacuating. The fire crew conducted a scene size-up, and found that flames from the fire apartment were impinging on the eves of the roof. Fire crews deployed hose lines and hit the fire from the exterior, through a third floor window, while an additional fire crew entered the building to transition to an interior fire attack. Once inside fire crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire in the apartment of origin.
Additional fire crews arrived on scene to assist with primary search of the building, establishing water supply, and fire attack. Fire crews found that the fire had extended into the attic space and was burning through the roof. Fire crews exited the building and a ladder apparatus was set up to attack the fire on the roof. Once the fire on the roof was extinguished, the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Office deployed an aerial drone to help fire crews identify any remaining hot spots.
The Bismarck Police Department assisted with evacuation of the building and scene control. Metro Area Ambulance was on scene to provide medical support. Bismarck Public Works Department assisted with scene control. Crisis Care Chaplaincy and the American Red Cross provided support to residents who were affected by the fire. Burleigh County Public Housing authority assisted residents displaced by the fire. The Salvation Army provided coffee to support the fire crews on scene.
There were no injuries to any of the occupants. There were no injuries to first responders. There was heavy fire and smoke damage to the fire apartment, and fire damage caused the roof to collapse. There was smoke and water damage to additional portions of the building. The occupants of the building were displaced by the fire. Early signs have indicated that this may be an incendiary fire. An investigation is currently being conducted by the Bismarck Police Department and Fire Department to determine the fire cause and origin.