A 61-year-old Mound woman is dead following a fire at the Grandview Apartments complex.
According to the Mound Fire Department, trucks were dispatched to the complex at 8:04 a.m. after reports of smoke in a first floor unit. The Orono Police Department was the first on scene. Upon arriving, heavy smoke was pouring from the unit, according to the report. Initial attempts to extinguish the blaze with fire extinguishers by Orono Police were unsuccessful.
Firefighters arrived on scene within three minutes of the call and made entry into the burning apartment through an outside window. According to the Mound Fire Department, the apartment was filled with heavy smoke and the flames were visible. They were able to put out the flames in about 15 minutes.
“The apartment’s door into the hallway was closed, but there was substantial damage to the apartment,” Mound Fire Chief Greg Pederson said. “There was a lot of heat, a lot of smoke, but it was contained.”
A 61-year-old female was found in the unit’s bedroom and was unresponsive. CPR and other life saving efforts were performed, but were unsuccessful.
“The police and fire did a good job of getting her out into the hallway to do CPR,” Pederson said. “If there was any chance she could have survived, she would have. That environment was not survivable.”
Pederson said after the flames were put out, the department checked for excess carbon monoxide and other dangerous gas levels that can come from fires. He said that the carbon monoxide levels on the third floor of the apartment building were high enough that, “it wasn’t an environment you want people to be in.”
The building was then evacuated, and all residents were accounted for outside. Residents sought shelter from the cold in a bus that was provided at the scene. First responders ventilated the building and residents were able to reenter their homes by around 1 p.m.
All firefighters and police officers made it out of the complex safely. There is a critical incident stress management debriefing today for first responders who were involved with the fire and who handled the victim.
“It’s pretty emotional when you’re dealing with a situation like that,” Pederson said. “Everyone made it out safe, but there was some emotional distress.”
The fire remains under investigation by Mound Fire and the Minnesota Fire Marshal’s Office, and the cause is not yet known.
Long Lake Fire Department, St. Bonifacius Fire Department, Maple Plain Fire Department, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department and a Ridgeview Ambulance were also on scene. The American Red Cross, Metro Transit and Salvation Army are helping the other residents at Grandview Apartments.
More details will be posted as they become available.