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Duplex damaged by fire

Those living near along Fremont Street might have had an early awakening on the Fourth of July.

At 3:13 a.m., the River Falls Fire Department responded to a structure fire at a duplex located at 109 N. Fremont St. Emergency dispatch reported a structure fire with smoke and flames visible from the upper apartment. The initial report also said residents were trying to evacuate the building.

Fire Chief Scott Nelson said the upper duplex was not occupied at the time and that residents of the lower duplex were evacuated safely. They were displaced — unable to return to the duplex due to water damage as of Monday, according to Assistant Fire Chief Mike Moody.

Nelson said 19 River Falls firefighters responded with a squad, two engines and a brush truck. The department was on scene four minutes after being paged. The fire was confined to the bedroom of the upper residence. There was smoke damage throughout the building.

An engine with five firefighters from Ellsworth was called in to assist. River Falls EMS and River Falls Police also assisted on scene.

Emergency responders were clear of the scene at 4:40 a.m. There were no injuries to responders.

The rental property is owned by John Levi.

Nelson said damage estimates are not yet available The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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