Man in custody following apartment fire in Bismarck

Local News

Photo taken by KX News Staff

33-year-old Justin Linder of Bismarck is in custody for allegedly endangering residents with a fire early Thursday morning.

The fire is now extinguished and occurred at a 24-unit apartment building in the 2700 block of Hawken St. Bismarck Fire officials reported no injuries to residents or first responders.

During the evacuation process, Linder who is a resident of the apartment complex was located on a balcony, he was evacuated by firefighters.

An investigation has now determined that he allegedly boiled cooking oil to throw on gang members that were trying to enter his residence.

Bismarck Police report they had responded to his address around 8:50 p.m. the previous night, September 29 for three to four gang members allegedly attempting to gain access to Linder’s third-floor balcony. 

Officers were unable to locate or find evidence that this occurred. 

It is believed that there is an excess of $2,000 or more in damage to the single apartment where the fire originated.

Linder is in custody and is the only resident displaced by the fire and the case remains under investigation. He’s currently being held at Burleigh Morton Detention Center on a charge of Endangerment by Fire.

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Original story Sep. 30, 2021 9:53 a.m.:

At approximately 5:05 AM on Thursday, September 30, the Bismarck Fire Department was dispatched to respond to a report of light smoke inside an apartment building at the 2700 block of East Hawken Street.

The first arriving fire crew arrived to find a three-story, 24-unit apartment building, with smoke showing and residents evacuating.

The fire crew established command and identified smoke was coming from the Northside of the building.  As additional fire crews arrived they were tasked with establishing a water supply, conducting an interior search, and pulling additional hose lines to fight the fire.  The fire was found in the kitchen of the building and was quickly extinguished. 

24-unit apartment building on the 2700 block of East Hawken St in Bismarck

Bismarck Fire Department says, an overhaul operation was conducted to find any remaining smoldering materials, and the building was ventilated of smoke.

Eight fire department apparatus and 20 firefighters were dispatched to the scene. The Bismarck Police Department assisted with scene control.  Montana Dakota Utilities assisted with securing utilities. 

The building was occupied at the time of the fire and there were no injuries to the building occupants or first responders.  Fire damage was limited to the apartment of origin, and the occupant of that apartment was displaced.  No other building occupants were displaced.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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