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Blaze breaks out at Detroit Lakes housing unit slated for demolition

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - Detroit Lakes firefighters were called to battle a blaze in an unoccupied two-story building near the old Anglo-American gas station early Monday afternoon, June 27.

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A house near downtown Detroit Lakes was fully engulfed in flames Monday afternoon. Robert Williams / Forum News Service
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DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - Detroit Lakes firefighters were called to battle a blaze in an unoccupied two-story building near the old Anglo-American gas station early Monday afternoon, June 27.

“Shortly before 1 p.m. we received a page when smoke was spotted coming out of a two-story, multi-family dwelling,” said Detroit Lakes Fire Chief Scott Flynn, speaking to reporters near the scene of the fire at the intersection of Frazee Street and McKinley Avenue at around 3 p.m. “The building was boarded up for demolition.”

Flynn was referring to the fact that the building was one of those scheduled to be demolished to make way for the new Holiday Stationstore when construction starts later this summer. He declined to speculate on what may have started the fire until the investigation was complete, though he did note that the smoke was first spotted coming from the top floor, toward the back of the structure.

Though the flames were quite visible at one point, with a smoke cloud that could be spotted from several blocks away, the firefighters were able to “knock down” the blaze within a couple of hours, Flynn said.

“It went pretty good,” he said. “We got it extinguished. We’re just cleaning up the hot spots.”

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Flynn said it appeared as though the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire, though he added they had not yet done a final walk-through and were waiting for the state fire marshal to arrive and begin his investigation.

Flynn said that mutual aid was provided by the Audubon and Frazee fire departments in battling the fire, while Essentia Health St. Mary’s EMS was on standby and officers from both the Detroit Lakes Police and Becker County Sheriff’s departments were on hand to provide assistance – particularly with traffic control at the busy intersection, as both drivers and pedestrians slowed to get a look at the flames and smoke billowing from the building.

“There was quite a lot of traffic around the scene,” he said.

 

Related Topics: FIRESDETROIT LAKES
A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at vgerdes@dlnewspapers.com.
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