Fargo firefighters responded to a report of smoke coming from a commercial building at 6:45 p.m. this evening at 3313 Fiechtner Drive South. The building contained seven businesses. When firefighters arrived, they found smoke coming from the two businesses on the west end of the building. Because it was a commercial building without sprinklers or a fire detection system, a second alarm was called by the first arriving unit in anticipation of needing additional people since it was likely the fire had had time to grow large.
Crews forced entry into the building and began attacking the fire. They found the fire in a loft that had been turned into an office and storage area. Since it was a metal building with few points to vent the heat, crews were held at bay momentarily by the intense heat. However, crews cut a hole in the roof to vent the heat and then the fire was knocked down approximately 20 minutes after the first crew’s arrival. A search was made for any occupants staying in the affected units but no one was found.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. A damage estimate has not been made because the unit with the most fire damage contained contractor’s equipment. This decreases our ability to make an accurate estimate. There was significant fire damage in one unit and smoke damage in several other units. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries.
The Fargo Fire Department responded with 20 personnel on five engines, one truck, and two command vehicles. The Fargo Police Department, FM Ambulance, and Salvation Army also assisted.