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Early-morning apartment fire displaces 20 Eagan residents

The fire was brought under control in about 20 minutes, but six apartments sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

Article by: Associated Press

Updated: November 22, 2012 - 8:41 PM

A fire that swept through an Eagan apartment building early on Thanksgiving morning displaced about 20 people.

No one was seriously hurt.

Firefighters dispatched to the blaze about 3:30 a.m found flames on all three floors of the apartment building, according to the Eagan Fire Department. Authorities say 24 units at the Cinnamon Ridge Apartments at 4565 Slater Road had to be evacuated. The fire was brought under control in about 20 minutes, but six apartments sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

One resident who suffered minor burns while trying to fight the fire was treated on the scene. There were no other injuries.

The Eagan fire marshal says the fire appears to have started on the balcony of one of the apartments. One resident was told by a fire official that the fire started from a cigarette.

Lisa Farley said her family, including husband Matt, daughter Kersten, 7, a dog and a guinea pig had lived in the complex only a few days when their unit flooded three weeks ago, destroying much of their property. They were living in a model unit and had just received a key for the new apartment ready for them when Farley saw the lights and heard sirens while on her way to the store Thursday morning.

"I didn't think anything of it, I just thought it was maybe an emergency call, somebody getting hurt or something," she said.

Matt told her it was a fire in the building they were supposed to move into. The apartment -- along with some of their property -- was damaged by smoke.

"Now we're really displaced," she said. "I'm just a little overwhelmed and shocked."

Emma Ziebarth, who lives in a unit several yards away from the damaged building, said she saw families with children and dogs leaving their charred units. It was horrible that it happened on Thanksgiving, but a good reminder about how quickly lives can change, she said.

Red Cross spokeswoman Andrea Bredow said the fire affected six units at the complex. The organization provided food and clothing vouchers to residents of three units -- one a single person, and two families of two adults and a child.

"Fortunately we did not have to provide any housing for them," Bredow said. "They all had places to go."

Farley and her family will remain in the model unit until they're told of their next move. They're still waiting to hear from the complex about replacing their belongings from the original flood. In the meantime, they spent Thanksgiving at Casper's Cherokee restaurant and counted their blessings.

"I feel very lucky that we weren't over there," she said of the fire. "I feel very lucky that nobody was injured either."

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