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Fire displaces 11 apartment tenants in Montevideo

MONTEVIDEO — A fire Friday morning displaced 11 residents of the Black Oak apartment complex in Montevideo.

The displaced residents were transferred to nearby facilities for temporary housing.

The Montevideo Police Department reported that officers responded to a report of a fire in one of the upper level apartment units at 7:02 a.m. Friday. The caller believed there were still residents in the apartment complex.

Police and Montevideo Fire Department volunteers responding directly to the scene — and not yet in gear — were able to make contact with residents still in the building, according to the news release from Montevideo Police Capt. Ken Schule.

Tenants as well as two officers who entered the building were treated for smoke inhalation on the scene by Montevideo ambulance staff. The officers received subsequent care at the Montevideo-Chippewa County Hospital.

The fire caused significant damage to the upper apartment unit where it originated, as well as caused smoke damage throughout the apartment complex.

The Montevideo Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire and confine it to the apartment.

According to the news release, the Salvation Army, Prairie Five Community Action Agency, and Saint Martin's Fund have provided funds for shelter, food and clothing to assist the affected tenants.

The fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal, and the apartment complex closed until the investigation is completed and the Montevideo building inspector determines the building is habitable.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota State Patrol assisted the Montevideo police and fire departments at the scene.