Grand Forks firefighters leaped into action at 3:38 a.m. on Jan. 15, when a call came in for a house fire at 27th Street and Central Avenue, near the Ramada Inn in Grand Forks.
A paramedic on scene reported that seven occupants had gotten themselves out of the building before fire crews arrived. The occupants were then taken to hospital to be checked out.
Grand Forks Fire/Rescue chief George Seigler said that his crew arrived to find “heavy smoke” and some visible flame coming from the building. The fire, Seigler said, appeared to have started in the house’s basement, making the approach more difficult for firefighters.
In the basement, Seigler said, there is only one way in and one way out, which made for a tight and risky situation for firefighters.
In all, Grand Forks had 16 local members attend the fire, while one engine from Christina Lake came in support with five additional firefighters.
By 9 a.m. Wednesday, the fire appeared to have been doused but crews remained on-scene and were inspecting the building. Seigler said that the cause of the fire had not yet been determined at that point, though he said the building in its current condition was “not habitable.”
The fire chief said that Wednesday’s fire was the department’s most significant call since an Aug. 7 fire incident at a structure on Brown Creek Road, up the North Fork.