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Fire causes listed as third fire hits apartment complex

BY Sarah smith

The Park Rapids Fire Department has changed the cause of a fire at the Bruhn Optical Building last week.

Originally thought to be an electrical fire, Chief Donn Hoffman said the official cause will now be listed as undetermined.

The fire caused extensive damage to a salon at the rear of the building.

“You know I lost a lot of sleep over that one,” Hoffman said. “I got up the next morning and went there and looked and I called the fire marshal and told him to come out and take a look.”

Hoffman said upon further investigation, the cause will be listed as undetermined. It was the first of two fires to hit Park Rapids. Three days later a house on Central Avenue burned.

Fire marshal Toby McLain emailed the following response:

“The fire at the Salon was most likely a discarded lit cigarette; however, I could not eliminate (other possibilities), so the official classification is undetermined.

“The fire on Central Avenue was caused by the gas range burner inadvertently turned on or left on, which ignited combustibles on the range.  Classified as accidental.”

Meanwhile the owners of the business involved, Serenity Salon & Spa, said they are working to clean up the mess and hope to reopen at a future date in the same location.

The business was owned by Kaye Soderberg, Liz Tostenson and Susie Quiring.

Soderberg said they would let the newspaper know when the salon would reopen.

A third fire broke out in the Itasca apartment complex early Thursday morning when a heating unit started flaming. A mother and her children got out safely. The apartments are on Fair Avenue and Eighth Street. The fire was reported at 3:30 a.m.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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