DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — A fire that heavily damaged a building in downtown Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Friday, Sept. 10, was caused by an apartment resident having a recreational fire on an outdoor back deck area, and will be ruled “unintentional” by the state fire marshal’s office, according to Detroit Lakes Fire Chief Ryan Swanson.
Wind and dry conditions helped spark the blaze, which caused smoke and water damage in parts of the downtown Washington Square Mall. The fire was put out after several hours by fire crews, including two ladder trucks that pumped about 360,000 gallons of water onto the blaze. Thick smoke filled the downtown area at times during the fire.
The fire broke out in an upstairs apartment at 814 Washington Ave., above Mattson's Barbershop. No one was injured in the fire, according to Swanson.
Washington Square Mall, with several small stores and restaurants, is a mix of older buildings on Washington Avenue and new construction further back. The fire started in one of those older downtown buildings. It is not technically part of the mall.