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Published December 18, 2013, 08:21 PM

Water causes more damage than fire in Fargo High Rise apartments

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A downtown Fargo apartment community is rallying together after a fire. But the real damage comes from water. Tenants call it a tragic way start to the holidays.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A downtown Fargo apartment community is rallying together after a fire.

But the real damage comes from water.

Tenants call it a tragic way start to the holidays.

The blaze broke out at Fargo's High Rise late last night.

You can see the new icicles forming here outside the Fargo high rise after a small fire inside the building activated sprinklers, sending thousands of gallons of water rushing through 15 floors of the building.

Catherine Simonson/Lives In Building: “Looked like water rushing, like it was raining inside.”

Constant drips and growing puddles flood the floors of one of Fargo's tallest apartment buildings.

Lynn Fundingsland/Fargo Housing Authority Exec. Dir: “One of our tenants had candles going in her apartment.”

That's where this mess began.

Fundingsland: “Went all the way to the first floor, from the 15th floor.”

A small fire setting off sprinklers that are strong enough to spray hundreds of gallons a minute and they were on for about 15.

Simonson: “Just started running down the walls everywhere.”

Cleanup crews have been working ever since, cutting holes and trying to suck the water out.

Fundingsland: “We're happy no one was hurt.”

Simonson: “I'm just thankful to God.”

Fundingsland: “We'd far rather have a water problem than a fire.”

And even though the fire didn't spread, water damaged 15 to 20 units.

Simonson: “I feel bad for all of my friends that got watered out.”

Washing away the start to their holiday season.

Simonson: “A lot of people had their Christmas trees up and Christmas presents on the floor and all of that's gone. They have nothing.”

But they do have hope.

Simonson: “This isn't just an apartment building, this is a community. Where people care about people.”

Something the true holiday season is all about.

Apartment officials say all but one of the damaged apartments are livable.

The displaced tenant has already moved to another unit in the same building.

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