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Published December 13, 2013, 08:28 PM

Fire destroys two Williston apartment buildings

Firefighters here are working in cold temperatures after two large apartment complexes under construction caught fire early this morning.

By: Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service

WILLISTON, N.D. – Firefighters here are working in cold temperatures after two large apartment complexes under construction caught fire early this morning.

Volunteer Fire Chief Darwin Stevens said one three-story apartment building was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived about 2 a.m. today.

Wind coming from the east caused the fire to travel along the rooftops and destroy a second building, but firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to a third building also under construction.

“This is by far the biggest fire I’ve ever seen,” said Stevens, who has been with the fire department for 23 years.

The buildings are in the Harvest Hills subdivision in northwest Williston. The first building destroyed was the furthest along in construction and was expected to open in February, Stevens said.

About 40 volunteer firefighters took turns warming up in vehicles as they fought the blaze. No injuries or frost bite had been reported as of 9 a.m. today, Stevens said, but there had been some slips and falls on the thick ice that has developed.

Firefighters expect to remain on the scene for at least today. Volunteer firefighters from the neighboring community of Ray are at Williston’s fire hall to respond to other calls.

The cause of the fire is unknown, Stevens said.

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