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‘Our partnerships are invaluable.’: MHD helps fight Fargo strip mall fire

3242 20th Street South in Fargo.
3242 20th Street South in Fargo.(Valley News Live)
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 4:57 PM CDT
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MOORHEAD, M.N. (Valley News Live) - Fire officials say it could take up to a month to finish their investigation into what caused a devastating blaze at a south Fargo strip mall Tuesday afternoon.

The call came in just before 1:30 p.m. yesterday at 3242 20th St. S., and left both GiGi’s Playhouse and Bodyworks physical therapy a total loss.

It was all hands on deck and then some yesterday afternoon, as crews from all over the metro rushed to the scene.

Moorhead Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Wallin says when another city calls for back-up, the first thing that’s done is calling up those not on duty to fill-in for those on the front lines.

“Some off-duty firefighters came in to start staffing some of our back-up apparatus and we responded to a couple calls for service in Moorhead while our other crews were in Fargo,” Wallin said.

Wallin says while helping out at the south Fargo blaze, his crews were also tasked with responding to other calls in the city of Fargo

“While our crews were in route to that strip mall, an additional call came out for smoke in the area that may have been related to that strip mall. As it turns out it was, and as all Fargo fire units were busy, our truck diverted to that call first,” Wallin said.

He says off-duty Fargo firefighters eventually filled in as back-up and were able to take back over Fargo calls for service, and says Moorhead crews helped in the strip mall blaze for about an hour and a half. Wallin says it’s help his crews will gladly give, as you never know when the tables could turn.

“You can’t have all of the resources that you’re going to need for some of the largest emergencies that occur, so it only makes sense to share some of the resources that you have in place when you have those larger incidents,” he said.

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