Apartment Fire

By Thalen Zimmerman (Originally published in the Alexandria Echo Press)

A fire forced residents of a Osakis apartment building to evacuate Friday evening.

Osakis firefighters and police, with the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, responded to an apartment fire at 480 A W Main St. in Osakis a little before 8 p.m. Friday, July 30.

The fire started in a single apartment unit on the lower corner of the building. Officer Preston Oetterer with the Osakis Police Department was one of the first on the scene.

"After seeing smoke rolling from the outside window, I made entry to the building and then to the apartment. When the door to the unit opened, smoke began to pour out into the hall. That's when we began to evacuate," said Oetterer. The officers and the fire department were able to get everyone out of the building with no injuries. No injuries were reported though one person was taken via the North Memorial Health ambulance service for observation.

"I was playing video games when I heard a faint beeping, I didn't think much of it until I smelled burning plastic, next thing I know, the real alarm started going off," said Jeff Cook, a resident who lived in the unit above from where the fire started, "I grabbed my cat and went outside, and that's when I saw the smoke rolling out the window of the apartment below me."

The Osakis Fire Department was able to contain the fire to the one unit. The building is one of the three buildings in the apartment complex.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the fire marshal, according to Osakis Fire Chief Craig Dropik.

The American Red Cross will be finding places for the residents to stay until they can return.

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