1 Dead, Others Jump from Balcony in Fargo Apartment Fire

Updated: 04/08/2013 11:17 PM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen

An apartment fire early Saturday in Fargo, N.D. killed one resident and forced a family to escape by jumping from a balcony.

Firefighters responded to the apartment building on the 900 block of Page Drive South at 5:26 a.m. after a neighbor called 911, according to the Fargo Fire Department.

Before firefighters arrived, a family had already escaped the flames by jumping from an apartment balcony.

Firefighters saw flames from a patio door on the second-floor near the east side of the building, the department reported. Heavy smoke filled the second- and third floors.

One resident died, according to authorities. Another was transported to a nearby hospital. Firefighters rescued several others from third-floor balconies.

All other residents were safely removed, the department reported.

The fire caused heavy damage to the apartment where the fire started, and smoke and water damaged the remainder of the building. Steel siding on the building's exterior help stop the fire from spreading, officials said.

Twenty-three firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire. The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross are helping residents affected by the fire.

Investigators say the cause of the fire was smoking related.