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Fire rips through apartment building Tuesday night

No injuries reported

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Firefighters check for remaining hot spots inside an apartment building that sustained major fire damage on Tuesday night. The fire occurred in an apartment building at 2809 10th Ave. N.

A large fire ripped through an apartment building at 2809 10th Ave. N. on Tuesday evening.

The fire, reported at 7:37 p.m., severely damaged the building, displacing several residents. The fire was contained to the northeast building of the four-building LaVista Apartments complex.

There were no injuries to occupants or firefighters, according to Fort Dodge Fire Department Chief Steve Hergenreter.

“The fire crews did a great job from stopping that fire,” the chief said. “It could have been a total loss, but the crews were very aggressive and did a very good job getting the fire stopped.”

Hergenreter said the fire was started in a second floor apartment by a child playing with a lighter.

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Firefighters work to extinguish lingering flames during an apartment fire at 2809 10th Ave. N. on Tuesday evening. The fire was caused by a child playing with a lighter.

“It spread out onto the balcony and from the balcony up into the third floor apartment above it,” Hergenreter said.

The second floor and third floor apartments have heavy fire damage and there is smoke and heat damage throughout the rest of the building.

The Fort Dodge Fire Department had four trucks on scene, including its ladder truck, and two ambulances for support. The FDFD had to recall 12 off-duty firefighters to assist the nine firefighters who were on duty, Hergenreter said.

Hergenreter was not sure about the total number of occupants in the building, but said that it was a fully-occupied building with 12 units. The Webster County Assessor lists the owner of the property as Becker Florists, Inc.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross were on site to help the displaced residents find a place to stay and get through the next few days.

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Flames shoot out of a third story balcony during an apartment fire at 2809 10th Ave. N. on Tuesday evening. No one was injured in the fire.

Firefighters were at the scene until 10:15 p.m.