Austin fire leaves some residents without a home

AUSTIN, Minn. — Some area residents are without a home after an early morning fire in Austin.

Fire crews were called to an electrical fire at an apartment complex at 805 4th St. NW around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

A couple in a third floor unit called 911 after they noticed smoke.

“They had smoke detectors, but they were not working. One of them busted a window, thinking they would go out that way, ended up not coming out that way, going through the fire and getting out. So they’re lucky to be alive,” said Commander Terry Petersen of the Austin Fire Department.

Crews say the blaze was able to be put out quickly, but families are being helped by the Freeborn-Mower Chapter of the American Red Cross because of electrical concerns.

“We couldn’t isolate just that apartment, so we didn’t want to let anybody or everybody go back to their apartments. There was no smoke damage or water damage in any of the other apartments; it’s just that we didn’t want to let anybody go back in there with putting the power on,” Petersen said.

He says most residents should be able to return home sometime this week. The unit where the fire started will have to be remodeled.

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