Investigation continues into West Fargo storage unit fire – InForum
WEST FARGO — A long, muddy trail of ash and charred wood led to the remains of a storage unit that burned down over the weekend. Little remains of the 45-year-old building where at least one person was injured on April 2.
Many questions remain unanswered about how the building caught fire, which law enforcement was at 650 2nd Avenue NW, but West Fargo Fire Chief Dan Fuller said investigators are looking into the call 911, which was from Fargo, and they were watching surveillance video to set up a timeline.
One of the storage units appeared to be illegally manned, but no individuals were found at the scene upon arrival, Fuller said.
“It’s a bit of a weird situation and we don’t know what happened. We are watching the video to see how many people were fleeing the area,” Fuller said.
The people squatting in the storage unit could have been homeless or could have remained in their storage unit for a number of reasons, Fuller said.
Records from the West Fargo Assessor’s Office indicated that the address given by law enforcement led to an owner named Gregory Clark Krutsinger, who when contacted by the Forum said that he did not own the property that burned down. Also, he never had any problems with squatters or unwanted people living in the storage unit.
After reviewing city zoning maps, West Fargo City Assessor staff said the building that burned was located at 295 6th St. NW. The 38,561 square foot building is zoned in a heavy commercial area and is owned by ABC Mini Storage.
Built in 1977, the current value has been assessed at $299,800 according to
West Fargo Deputy Police Chief Pete Nielsen said the police department is assisting firefighters with the investigation.
“They will determine the cause of the fire and at that time we will begin to review any criminal charges,” Nielsen said. “There could be charges depending on the results of the investigation. We don’t rule anything out. »
An indefinite amount of time passed before 911 was alerted to the fire, Fuller said, adding that the 911 call came from Fargo and not West Fargo.
“We can assume that charges may be pending if they were crouching there, but take into account that the cause of the fire may have been incidental, and as far as we know there was someone which was burned, but we just didn’t make contact. with him at the moment,” Fuller said.
Some of the items stored in the storage unit included $5,000 motorcycles and other high-value items, Fuller said.
City property records showed Ameilia Weigel owned the storage units in 2010 and sold the building to David and Jennifer Demink for $445,000 on March 3, 2021. On August 23, 2021, the Demink and Weigel family transferred the building claim to ABC. Mini storage for zero dollars.
ABC Mini Storage was registered with the North Dakota Secretary of State in April 2021 and is in good standing. A phone number for ABC Mini Storage led to a receptionist who said the owner would be contacted for comment.
In addition to the West Fargo Police Department, the West Fargo Fire Department was assisted by the Fargo Fire Department, Salvation Army, and Sanford Ambulance. If the investigation finds that people fleeing the area after the fire started were squatting in the building, additional services will be offered to them, Fuller said.
“Once we understand the story of what happened, our officers will coordinate with all groups to help these people with social services or homeless shelters, and we will try to get them out of this. type of situations. Even though it’s a horrible thing that happened, we will try to reach out to these people and get them out of this situation,” Fuller said.