Fire destroys Luverne apartment building

Property manager Scott Adams credits fast action by the Luverne Fire Department and Rock County Law Enforcement for safely evacuating 25 residents from their burning apartment building.

The Country View Apartments on East Dodge Street were on fire at around 2 a.m. Friday. 

“Officer Michael DeJong was the first one on the site,” Adams said. “He did an excellent job knocking on every door and on the windows until everyone was out and accounted for.”

Luverne Fire Chief Dan Nath said strong winds made fighting the fire difficult. “We’d make a little headway, and the wind would push the fire into a new area,” he said.

Crews were called back to the scene around 9 a.m. Friday when the fire reignited.

Property manager Gene Cragoe said the 12-unit building is owned by Blake Bonjean of Lakeville. 

The cause of the fire has been traced to a faulty cord on a table lamp in one of the apartments.

Cragoe said the American Red Cross had representatives on site before the sun came up Friday morning. 

Everyone was placed in temporary housing in hotels and Cragoe said his office will do everything it can to get people resettled.

Donations are being accepted, but financial gifts are more helpful, so that families can purchase what they need specifically.

Local donations for the Carr family can be dropped off at Rauk's Hilltop Stop and at the Hills-Beaver Creek High School.

All three banks in Luverne  and the Exchange State Bank in Hills are accepting donations on behalf of the Rock County Ministerial Association. “Fire relief fund” can be mentioned on the memo line.

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