Investigating the Fire - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Investigating the Fire

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Firefighters have now been pulled from the fire scene at the Chateau Apartments.

All through the night until about 4:00 on Friday afternoon, crews were watching burning debris --- especially to the west near the last remaining Chateau structure and to the east near the Lamplighter.

Jennifer Thorgramson met with crews this morning as the fire investigation was just beginning.

By flood and twice by flame, the Chateau Apartment building was destroyed this week for the third time in three years.

In a matter of four hours flames reduced the east Chateau Apartment building to this.

Icy remains of a structure still smoldered about 30 hours after the first fire call.

The cause of the fire could be weeks away.

Investigations are starting slowly as debris is still burning and cold crews are still on scene.

(Cpt. Jason Babinchak, Minot Fire Department) "Right now we're maintaining a fire watch until most of our fires go down. We still have a few spots that are able to flame up. There is still debris but it's hard to get to and we can't get down to the seed of the fire without some heavy equipment to move it around. We're waiting for that equipment right now."

The investigation is balancing on various companies involved: the property owner, construction crew, insurance company and fire marshall.

In the meantime, fire crews are balancing moving hot debris to prevent a near-future flame and preserving the scene for the investigation.

(Cpt. Jason Babinchak, Minot Fire Department) "At times we do have to move debris just to finish putting the fire out. It's a give and take."

Captain Babinchak says an initial report, a compilation of first responder and eye witness accounts could be available in by the end of next week.

But for now, the crews still on scene at the Chateau Apartments will be focused on fire watch.

In Minot Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.

Again, fire crews were removed from the scene at 4:00 Friday afternoon.

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