Residents recap their experience escaping the Mandan apartment fire

Eagle Ridge apartments
Eagle Ridge apartments(KFYR-TV)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 4:06 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Mandan Firefighters say they responded to the Eagle Ridge apartments just after 7:00 p.m. Monday night.

The fire comes just over a year after another apartment building, Sunset Bluffs, burned down right next door. Now, residents say their scramble to safety is all too familiar.

When the flames erupted, one resident was lucky her daughter was on the lookout.

“She looked out and they were telling us to get out of the building and I said, ‘“No I can’t! I’m naked, I can’t leave!’ I had to throw a towel on, and my daughter...I had to throw a little diaper on her, my 7-year-old had to put a blanket on, she left the shower running,” said resident Vanessa Christopherson.

Vanessa had renter’s insurance following the fire they endured last year, but canceled it just one month ago, not expecting a second fire to break out in the same spot.

“To go through that two times, to lose everything. You just start to feel like it’s home again and then...start all over again,” said Vanessa.

The alarms sound far too familiar for some residents. One said this is the second building she’s watched burn down from her own balcony.

“We’re going to start packing our stuff and we’re going to get out as soon as possible because I’m not taking any chances. You don’t think that this is going to happen, especially twice summer after summer,” said resident Britney Frohlich.

But despite the rushed spread of the fire, some people still took time to help others.

“It was really nice to see the sense of community, everybody was really trying to help each other in that building, but there’s only so much you can do. Everybody just grabbed what they thought was important to them,” said a friend of a resident Amanda Hixson.

Luckily, the fire didn’t spread and the third building in the complex was left untouched.

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