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Neighbor helps two second-floor renters escape fire unharmed in north Fargo

FARGO – A quick-thinking neighbor helped two second-floor renters escape injury early Monday when fire heavily damaged a house-converted in apartments in north Fargo.

Firefighters responded at 1:11 a.m. to a call from two people trapped on the second floor.

A second call came from a neighbor extending a ladder to a second-floor rear window, allowing the two people to safely escape, according to a fire department news release.

Four other people also got out of the building unharmed.

The two-story house containing three apartments was heavily engulfed when fire crews arrived, said Fargo Fire Chief Steve Dirksen.

Fire caused extensive damage to the front porch and front rooms on the first and second floors, and there was heavy smoke damage throughout floors, the release stated.

No one seems to know who the person is who supplied the ladder or which neighborhood house he came from, said Dane Carley, Fire Department battalion chief.

A neighbor living next door to the north of the damaged home offered “no comment” when approached.

Jackie Tellers was sleeping in the next-door apartment building to the south, her bedroom just feet away from the blazing home.

“When I opened my eyes, I could see an orange glow. I could feel the heat,” she said.

“When I peeked through my blinds, the fire was raging,” Tellers said. “The house was burning from front to back. It was just horrible. There was knocking on my door. I knew I needed to get out.”

Tellers said she feared the fire might jump to her apartment building.

The fire, which was contained in about 20 minutes, remains under investigation, Dirksen said.

The layout of the house caused the fire to burn in a complex pattern that may take investigators a week or two to determine a cause, Carley said.

There were no injuries reported.

The house is owned by D&L Properties of Moorhead, according to city of Fargo records.

A man at the scene who identified himself as the homeowner would not comment.

The Red Cross found housing for displaced renters at local hotels.

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