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Fire consumes rental; no one hurt (06/19/2013)
By Chris Rogers

Photo by Chris Rogers
     Photo by Chris Rogers

. Dozens of Winona and Goodview firefighters worked to control a fire at an apartment building on Ninth and Minnesota streets Monday night. Three Goodview firefighters fell through the ceiling of the first floor while clearing debris. No one was seriously injured.

A fire at an apartment building on Ninth and Minnesota Streets at 8 p.m. Monday night destroyed much of the residences of seven Winonans, and injured one firefighter. Twenty-six Winona firefighters were called in along with crews from Goodview. Three Goodview firefighters were standing on the second story of the structure cutting through debris to expose hidden flames for hoses, when the section of the roof they were standing on collapsed and the three fell into the house. The Goodview firefighters landed on their feet, Winona Fire Department (WFD) officials reported, but one was taken to the hospital for a sprained ankle. No one else was injured in the blaze.

Brady Dalton seemed relatively calm as he and perhaps a hundred onlookers watched a blaze that burned much of his apartment building at Ninth and Minnesota streets on Monday night. It was the fourth time a residence of his had burned, he said. "I smelled it and saw all the people standing around my home. 'Why is everyone staring at my house?'" he wondered. When he spotted flames he had time grab his pet turtle, but little else.

The three-unit apartment building was home to a mother and three children, a single woman, in addition to Dalton and his roommate. Fire Captain Larry Vogen reported that the blaze apparently began outside before spreading up the walls and into the attic. "Crews went in on the first floor and knocked the fire down, but it had already extended up the wall into the attic," Vogen explained. The attic burned quickly, pouring smoke out windows before burning up the roof and then much of the second and first floors of the north end of the building.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Vogen reported. Dalton's roommate, Josh Cowell, reported that when he first noticed the fire, he saw a pile of trash burning against an exterior wall of the residence. Dalton said he did not know how the fire was started but mentioned that the apartment had been having electrical issues and wondered if they might have been related to the cause of the fire.

Dalton and Cowell were relatively calm at the scene of the fire. "My roommate is safe; our pets are safe. What else is there?" Dalton said. "All my junk is gone, but it's just junk."

"I'm fine,"said Cowell. "It is kind of crappy, but I got my snake out and I probably won't have to pay rent this month," he cracked a smile. 

 

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