UPDATE: Cause of Wadena fire released

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 11:41 AM CDT
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WADENA, MN (Valley News Live) - UPDATE: The Wadena Fire Department says the cause of the fire was unattended cigarette smoking.

The fire was reported at around 11:15 a.m. Wednesday at a multi-dwelling building at 202 1/2 Jefferson Street South.

Firefighters saw the fire from the east side of the second story of building. The Fire Department says that the landlord tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher but the fire grew and was unable to manage. Everyone managed to get out without any injuries.

Fire officials say a cigarette container was found on the deck portion of the roof. The fire spread due to high winds.

7 apartment units are considered inhabitable due to smoke damage. Two units suffered minor water damage and it’s power was disconnected. In addition to the apartment damage, KSKK Radio and All Around Divas Boutique received smoke damage, and Lorena’s Salon received smoke and water damage. The Taste of Columbia and the apartments above it also received smoke damage.

The Wadena Fire Department has established a benefit account for donations for the displaced residences at the Wadena State Bank. Anyone can stop in at any of their branches or mail in donations to Wadena State Bank, Attn: Jefferson St Apartment Fire Victims, PO Box 191, Wadena, MN 56482.

Proceeds will be divided to the fire victims within the next month after receiving donations.

ORIGINAL: A fire ripped through the second story of a building in Wadena on Wednesday. The building sits at the corner of Bryant Avenue and Jefferson Street.

“When I had come out my landlord was onsite and he was trying to extinguish it with a fire extinguisher and he was telling everybody to get out of the building.” said Kyler Bethel, who lives at the apartment building that caught on fire.

Bethel is one of seven people who are displaced and are being helped by the American Red Cross.

“I’m incredibly thankful for all of the community help and just everybody.” said Bethel.

The fire has damaged several apartments and three businesses. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Wadena Fire Dept.

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