Posted at: 01/25/2013 4:02 PM
The Hibbing Fire Department responded Thursday morning to a fire at 513 East Howard where a multi-family three story apartment building and restaurant was found with flames coming from the second story windows.
There were 5 people in the apartments at the time of the fire, two of whom were transported to UMCM where they were treated and released for smoke inhalation.
A total of 11 of the 14 apartments were being rented at the time of the fire and 7 of the 11 renters have been displaced.
The fire was extinguished as of the noon hour, while overhaul operations continued.
The renters and fire crews received assistance from the Red Cross and Salvation Army.
The restaurant and apartments immediately above suffered only minor smoke damage.
Public utilities were able to restore power to the restaurant and apartments immediately above. Cleaning crews and contractors were working late into the night to try and get the restaurant ready to re-open.
The owner was hoping to re-open the restaurant in the next day or so.
The bar section of the building and 9 apartment units located directly above incurred significant fire, smoke, and water damage. Temporary power has been brought in as crews work to try and limit damage to the bar area and copper ceiling.
The 9 upper apartments are still secured and the cause and origin investigation is still under way.
The quick fire containment was successful in part due to the great mutual aide response from the neighboring fire and ems departments.
Due to the extreme cold we needed to rotate out fire crews more than usual. Chisholm Fire, Keewatin Fire, Virginia Fire and EMS, Mt. Iron Fire, Nashwauk Fire, Cherry Fire, Chisholm Ambulance Service, Hibbing Police Dept, Hibbing Public Utilities, and Hibbing Public Works responded to assist on this call.
There were no reported firefighter injuries. Initial damage estimate is at 500,000. The fire started in a second story apartment but the cause of the fire is still currently under investigation. Fire Marshal Bryan Fagerstrom said the insurance company is sending their own investigation team, so the scene is being preserved until they can arrive.