Dozens of people ran for safety as a major fire burned through a large apartment building in Williston overnight.
Close to 70 people were living in the 34 units of the Dakota Apartments on 45th Street West when the fire broke out about 2:00 am.
Everyone got out without any injuries reported.
Jim Olson was there this morning as people got a look at the destruction,
(Makendle Dierman, Adjacent Building Resident) “The apartment building is on fire. I said are you kidding? And he said no, get out.”
For Makendle Dierman, the 2:30am wake up call sent her rushing to get her son and dog out of the building that sat just a matter of feet from the inferno that had become the 1505 building at the Dakota Apartments in Williston.
(Jason Catrambone, Williston Fire Chief) “We had 30-foot flames coming out of the roof upon arrival so that throws off a lot of heat, a lot of embers.”
Fire Chief Jason Catrambone says a total of about 45 firefighters raced to keep the fire from spreading out of the attic and third floor of the large apartment building.
(Jason Catrambone, Williston Fire Chief) “We have a lot of apartment complexes in the city of Williston so it’s something we prepare for. With a fire like this and the wind we had it makes it more challenging but they were able to adjust their tactics and techniques and keep it from spreading down the building.”
The chief said the residents of the apartment building reacted perfectly to the situation – helping each other get out without injury.
(Jason Catrambone, Williston Fire Chief) “We’re thankful for all the residents. They went door to door on the way out, knocking, even though the alarm system was going off. A lot of times people don’t heed that warning so internally the people that lived here – neighbor was helping neighbor.”
And with a fire that leaves a huge struture like this destroyed, that’s about the best outcome firefighters could hope for – no injuries and no other buildings damaged. In Williston, Jim Olson, KX News.
Investigators from Williston Fire Department and the State Fire Marshall are working to determine the exact cause of the fire, which left the 34-unit apartment building destroyed.
The Red Cross reports providing financial assistance to 57 people displaced by the fire.