A Fergus Falls fire damaged businesses in the small Minnesota town’s downtown center and injured two firefighters.
Crews were called to the fire at close to 10:20 pm on Sunday, battling it overnight and into the next day. Crews were still on the scene Monday morning to work on hot spots that remained.
The fire itself was not under control until around sunrise on Monday. Mark Hovland, Fergus Falls fire chief, said crews were still picking up bits of glass and other debris well into the day as well.
Five families who lived above downtown businesses were displaced, but all escaped the blaze without injury. Five stores were closed, though two could be re-opened pending inspection. The other three are said to be shuttered indefinitely.
Fergus Falls is a town of close to 13,000 people located in the western part of the state. It is known for its parks and tourist attractions, as well as some other landmarks within the town like a town hall modeled after Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.
A total of 102 firefighters were called on to help fire the blaze, Hovland said. Nine other departments provided mutual aid, while two more fire departments have been asked to assist in the aftermath of the fire.
Two firefighters were hurt in the Fergus Falls fire. One suffered from heat exhaustion while the other broke his arm and was expected to have surgery on Monday.
The cause of the Fergus Falls fire is still under investigation. Fire officials said they suspect it started in an attic and burned through the roof.