Investigation into Rochester Apartment Fire Continues

Posted at: 01/15/2013 7:50 PM
Updated at: 01/15/2013 7:53 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A late Monday night apartment fire sent six to the hospital. The Rochester Fire Department was called to Hunters Ridge Condominiums last night just after nine o'clock.

The fire started in a first floor unit. A mom and her five children that lived there were all taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

"They said fire get out, get out, get out, so I grabbed my mom and my Yorkie," said Douglas Dehn.

Neighbor Douglas Dehn ran out of his place in a scramble only to find his neighbors apartment fully engulfed.

"They were just a little frightened scared and cold," said Dehn.

According to the Rochester Fire Department the fire started in one of the younger kids rooms. The mom awoke to the smoke and quickly got her family out of the home before alerting her neighbors.

"Upon arrival there was fire showing out of both first floor windows and starting to lap up to the second floor," said fire marshal Larry Mueller.

The fire department had to assist in evacuating a family living on the second floor. Despite working in cold conditions they were able to quickly extinguish the fire.

"In extreme temperatures like we had last night we typically rotate crews through on a regular basis, insuring the health of the crews and the operation of the equipment," said Mueller.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Everyone is happy that no one was seriously hurt.

"The fire was already inside the apartment it could have been very devastating with the family not waking up and alerting the other occupants," said Mueller.

"We were outside until midnight." said Douglas Dehn.

He is happy his apartment went unharmed, but is concerned for his neighbors that lost everything.

"They are going to have to start all over, I just hope they can find some cheap stuff for them, " said Dehn.

The damage is estimated to be more than $200,000 dollars. The family that lived in the 2nd floor unit was put up in a hotel by the Red Cross.
Mayo Clinic could not say how the children are doing, but told us the mother is still at Saint Marys in good condition.