At a time when the Minot area can ill afford to lose any potential housing, an early morning fire destroyed a large apartment building Wednesday in southwest Minot.
The fire occurred at Chateau Apartment Homes, located at 1725-2nd Ave. SW, near Arrowhead Shopping Center. It involved only one of the building's two units, the Eastern building, according to Investors Real Estate Trust Properties, owners of the complex.
"Construction was currently under way within both the Eastern and Western buildings of the complex," IRET stated in a prepared release. "The Eastern edifice of the complex contained 32 of the 64 total apartment units at the Chateau."
"The building was under construction because of the flood," said Chief C.J. Craven of the Minot Fire Department. "I believe they had just (gutted) it, so the inside was just bare wood."
Craven said the building was fully involved when fire units arrived.
Craven also said it did not appear that anyone was inside the building at the time of the fire, but he couldn't be sure until the investigation is complete.
IRET stated no injuries were reported in the blaze.
The fire was reported at 2:34 a.m. Wednesday. Fire units were on the scene about five minutes later.
Craven said the building had temporary electrical power for construction purposes, and Montana Dakota Utilities was contacted later Wednesday morning to shut off natural gas to the building.
IRET praised the fire department's work at the scene of the fire.
"We at IRET are extremely grateful for (the fire department's) work to ensure that the nearby neighborhood, its people and property were never in any danger from today's unfortunate fire," IRET said.
Firefighters remained on the scene late Wednesday. Craven said his department will probably work with IRET to erect fencing and get security around the site.
He added that it will likely be Friday before fire officials and insurance investigators dig into the site to try determine a cause.