WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published January 21, 2011, 10:22 AM

Grand Forks Apartment Building a Total Loss After Fire

A Grand Forks apartment building that was evacuated Thursday night because of a fire, flared up again Friday morning. At least 13 people have been left homeless.

The Roughrider Apartment building in Grand Forks is destroyed after firefighters were called there for a second time.

Thirteen people were evacuated from the 12-unit apartment building last night. This morning, the fire rekindled itself, leaving 13 people without a home.

As of 9 p.m. Friday, firefighters were still putting out hot spots at the apartment building. Officials say they'll be at the scene at least overnight Friday.

Officials say a few firefighters were treated for frostbite.

"I'm still in shock. It's unimaginable," said Laisa McFarlen, who lived in the apartment complex.

Mcfarlen and Dominic Acosta were in their Grand Forks apartment when the building caught on fire not only once but twice. Now they're without a home and all their possessions.

"We were sitting there watching TV and we heard banging and crashing. It seemed like someone was running up and down the stairs, and as they were running up and down the stairs we heard that there was a fire and started pounding on everyone's door," said Dominic Acosta, who was also in the apartment.

The fire first started at the Roughrider Apartment building Thursday around 8 p.m. The fire department says this first fire was caused by unattended cooking.

"Overnight the wind came up and apparently must have sparked some ember that might have still been there and re-kindled the blaze and now they are looking at a total loss," said Kevin Dean, with Grand Forks Public Information.

"Without heat or anything and with all the water, it's looking like a total loss," said McFarlen.

Which means tenants like Mcfarlen and Acosta need help with just the basics, which the Red Cross is going to provide.

"We will be able to assist them with emergency clothing, food and shelter," said Tom Tezel with the Red Cross.

IMM Property Management would like all tenants or families affected by the fire to visit their office at 3325 South Washington Saturday morning.