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Farmington fire chief Brian Lindquist, fire marshal John Powers, Lakeville fire marshal Brian Carstensen and building inspector Ken Lewis discuss the Wednesday morning fire.

Fire displaces apartment complex residents for a night

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news Farmington, 55024
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Residents of Farmington's Centennial Apartments had to find someplace else to sleep Feb. 29 after a fire forced them to evacuate their homes that same morning.

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The fire was contained mainly to one second floor unit. Its cause is still under investigation.

The Farmington Fire Department was called to the Centennial Apartments at 1321 Centennial Lane around 9:30 a.m. On arrival, they found a fire in a second-story end unit that faces east. The Lakeville Fire Department was called for assistance.

Firefighters were able to knock down the blaze quickly, and were cleaning up the scene within an hour.

Farmington building inspector Ken Lewis examined the 18-unit apartment complex and determined that the only unit to receive significant damage was the one where the fire had started. However, Lewis was concerned about the presence of carbon monoxide throughout the building, which is why he restricted occupancy overnight.

All of the residents but one had an alternate place to stay, police chief Brian Lindquist said. The Red Cross responded to the scene as well, and helped that resident find somewhere for the night.

Lewis and Farmington fire marshal John Powers allowed residents to go into their units to collect personal belongings for their overnight stay, but otherwise, the building was not open to them until after 9 a.m. Thursday.

Residents in all but one of the units were allowed to return for the following night.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Tuesday's storm knocked out the electricity in the building, and power had been restored about 10 minutes before the fire was reported, Powers said.

According to information Lindquist received from the apartment manager, the occupant of the unit that caught fire had moved out of the building several weeks ago, but did not take all of his belongings. What was left in his apartment burned.

There are no sprinklers in the Centennial Apartment building.

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