Oct. 29--ALBANY -- Firefighters battled for hours late Monday and early Tuesday to extinguish a fire that heavily damaged an Albany apartment complex.
The building, in the 300 block of Seventh Street, had visible flames rising from the building's roof and through multiple windows.
Multiple agencies assisted at the scene including the Melrose Fire Department, the Albany Police Department and the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.
Albany Fire Chief Dean Mitchell said that the building had nine apartment units and 19 residents. Mitchell confirmed that all of the residents made it out of the building safely.
"We're hoping that some of our stuff might be salvageable," building resident Blaine Joramo said.
Joramo, who shares an apartment with Becky Simonson and the couple's four children, said that a relative had alerted them to the fire. Simonson immediately called 911.
"Then we started beating on doors and getting everybody out," Joramo said.
Next came finding a safe and warm place for his family.
"I just went and grabbed the car and started heating the car because I figured the kids were going to be cold with nowhere else to go," he said.
Victims did have somewhere to go however. Residents from the building were taken to Our Saviors Lutheran Church, about a block away from the building. The Red Cross worked to find victims of the fire temporary accommodations, Mitchell said.
Thankful for her family's safety, but weary of the long road ahead of them, both Simonson and Joramo described their mood as shocked Tuesday morning.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," Simonson said. "More than likely we won't be able to move back in."
The American Red Cross said Tuesday morning it is assisting 11 adults and nine children.
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