MFD: Eagle Ridge fire began on third floor patio

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 1:40 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Investigators say there are many similarities between Monday night’s fire and last year’s, when the complex was called Sunset Bluffs.

All that remains of the fire from July 2019 is the foundation.

Since that blaze, the Mandan Fire Department has pushed for changes in privately controlled fire hydrants and sprinkler systems on patios.

Chief Steve Nardello says those changes paid off when history repeated itself Monday night.

These images show the remains of the Sunset Bluff Apartments after a fire struck twice.

On the right, a foundation from a fire on July 14, 2019 is all that stands.

That year while fighting the blaze fire fighters ran into issues with the privately owed hydrants.

Low water pressure made it difficult to put out the blaze, along with the dozen fire fighters that were treated for heat exhaustion.

Although they were unable to to determine how the fire started, they say it originated from a third floor patio.

In recent months, the Mandan Fire Department has made changes to prevent future hydrant difficulties, which paid off on Monday.

Nardello says Monday’s fire also originated on a third floor patio, displacing more than 30 families.

Due to the hydrant check-ups in the previous months, crews had no issues fighting the blaze overnight.

No firefighters or residents were injured during Monday’s blaze.

Mandan City Commissioners also updated the building code, which now requires an overhang on the patio of more than six inches to have a sprinkler head.

As of Tuesday evening, residents have not been allowed back inside of the complex. Many are searching the area for their pets.