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Published May 13, 2012, 03:44 PM

Residents Displaced by Moorhead Apartment Fire

MOORHEAD – Residents of an apartment complex at 2409 4th Ave. N. here have been temporarily displaced after a fire Sunday morning started by a man with an oxygen tank smoking in bed.

By: Forum Communications,

MOORHEAD – Residents of an apartment complex at 2409 4th Ave. N. here have been temporarily displaced after a fire Sunday morning started by a man with an oxygen tank smoking in bed.

“It’ll be ruled an acci-dent,” said Moorhead Fire Chief Rich Duysen.

The second-floor resi-dent, who was taken to a hospital by ambulance, told Duysen some ashes fell on his oxygen tank and started the floor on fire.

“It spread quite rapidly,” Duysen said.

The building, a block east of the city water plant, had been deemed unlivable as of Sunday afternoon.

It was unclear how many residents were displaced, but the building includes 18 units, and four of them were vacant, Duysen said.

Third-floor resident Jo-anna Wesely thought someone was barbecuing at first. “Then I thought, ‘Whoa, that doesn’t smell like a grill,’ ” she said.

Wesely said her apart-ment was trashed, and fellow third-floor resident Ernest Ells said hers prob-ably had the most damage.

The Salvation Army and the Red Cross were on scene providing disaster assistance.

Sean Coffman of the Red Cross said trained volun-teers were on site working with the residents to help provide immediate care.

“The Red Cross is here to make sure they’re taken care of at least through the next 72 hours,” he said.

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