Mandan apartment fire displaces about 36 families

Mandan fire apartment.jpg
The Sunset Bluffs Apartments caught fire Monday evening, Aug. 10, in Mandan, N.D. Special to The Forum

MANDAN, N.D. — A large apartment fire that started on Monday evening, Aug. 10, has displaced about 36 Mandan families. No injuries were reported among residents or firefighters.

It is the second fire the Sunset Bluffs Apartments, 1611 31st St. NW, has seen in two years, though the blaze that broke out Monday occurred in a different building.

About 7:12 p.m. Monday, police officers in the area near the Sunset Bluffs Apartments saw smoke and fire coming from one of the buildings. The officers alerted dispatchers to call the Mandan Fire Department and began to evacuate residents from the building.

When firefighters arrived, the three-story building appeared to have fire showing from a third-floor balcony and continuing up into the attic. The fire continued to intensify and the Mandan Rural Fire Department and Bismarck's city and rural fire departments provided relief to firefighters who had been on the scene for several hours.


Firefighters were on the scene until 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Locals are seeking volunteers and donations to help the families affected by the fire. A Facebook group, Sunset Apartment Fire-Official, is helping to coordinate relief efforts and is working in conjunction with the American Red Cross and Mandan's Be-A-Good-Neighbor committee.

At least 15 families who are victims of the latest fire were also victims of last year's apartment fire, said Patty Barrette, coordinator of the Sunset Apartment Fire-Official Facebook page. Barrette said Monday's fire is more serious than last year's blaze, which is believed to have started accidentally.

"We're coordinating with crisis counselors as well to get some of those needs met, because we know everyone's going through some major trauma right now and some of them it's their second time," she said.

The cause of Monday's fire is still under investigation, and residents are still not able to enter the building until the investigation is completed and the building is safe to enter.

Barrette said local hotels are housing displaced residents. The hotels are offering discounted rates, and the Be-A-Good-Neighbor committee and local Lion Club are helping cover the cost, she said.

Volunteers and essential supplies are needed, Barrette said. The following supplies were needed as of Tuesday:


  • Shaving cream
  • Razors
  • Hairbrushes/combs
  • Nail clippers
  • Body wash
  • Contact solution and contact cases
  • Eyeglass cases

Donations can also be made to this relief fundraiser.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at

Michelle (she/her, English speaker) is a Bismarck-based journalist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities.
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