Burnsville apartment complex hit by fire

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 22, 2011 - 6:11 PM

Investigators are working to determine what sparked a fire that heavily damaged a Burnsville apartment complex early Saturday.

Flames were leaping from the second and third floors of a Raven Hill Apartments building when fire crews from four departments arrived at 12:20 a.m., said Sgt. Rory Bochniak, a Burnsville police spokesman.

Residents from all 69 units in the building in the 13000 block of Harriet Avenue S. were evacuated. The Red Cross and the Burnsville Chaplain Corps provided assistance to residents in 30 units who were not allowed to return home, Bochniak said.

Flames were intense and smoke was thick, which made evacuating residents more difficult.

Two residents suffered smoke inhalation and were treated at the scene. One firefighter from Burnsville suffered a noncritical injury and was taken to a hospital, Bochniak said.

Authorities were still inspecting the building Saturday, but initial damage includes a partial roof collapse and damage to decks. It was not clear how many units sustained damage, Bochniak said.

The cause of the fire has not been pinpointed, but authorities said one possibility is that it began with an unextinguished cigarette.

It was the second fire at Raven Hill in recent months. In September, a fire damaged two units on the second and third floors. Seven other apartments had minor smoke and water damage.

TIM HARLOW

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