Ward Avenue apartment building fire contained to one unitUpdate
Residents of three units were displaced because of smoke and water damage. Clothing lying against an electric baseboard heat register is believed to have ignited.
A fire in an apartment at 1505 Ward Ave. last Friday afternoon forced the residents of three units into temporary housing.
Hudson Fire Chief Jim Frye said firefighters contained the fire to one apartment, but two additional units in the 12-apartment building sustained smoke and water damage.
The fire is believed to have started in clothing lying against an electric baseboard heating unit.
The residents of the second-floor apartment, Michael and Shayna Wollenzien, weren’t home when someone smelled smoke and called 911.
Frye said he didn’t know who reported the fire. The information he had said only that it was reported by a cellphone caller.
The Hudson Fire Department was dispatched to the building at 2:32 p.m.
Police and firefighters evacuated building, but a few residents suffered smoke inhalation after going back inside to get belongings, Frye said.
He said people should “get out and stay out” if their home is burning.
St. Croix EMS treated the victims of smoke inhalation at the scene, according to Frye.
“The firefighters did a good job,” the chief said of his department’s response to the fire.
It was quickly knocked down with water hoses brought inside the building.
Frye said there wasn’t any structural damage to the Wollenziens’ apartment, located above the Ward Avenue entrance to the building.
He said there was heavy smoke damage to the apartment, however, and the apartment beneath it sustained water damage.
The American Red Cross arranged temporary housing for the residents of the three damaged apartments -- a total of eight people.
Frye said the residents of two of the apartments were provided with three-night stays at a motel and the residents of one of the apartments received a one-night stay.
Hudson police officer John Worden was the first emergency responder on the scene. He said there was heavy smoke in the Wollenziens’ apartment when he arrived.
Paul L. Anderson of Hudson is the owner of the building.
At least three Hudson fire engines, a St. Croix EMS ambulance and police officers responded to the fire. The Lower St. Croix Valley Fire Department at Lakeland, Minn., was called to provide backup support.
The building residents and passersby watched the firefighting effort from the other side of Ward Avenue, which was closed to traffic between 14th and Hoyt streets.
Frye said the last fire investigator left the scene at 5:18 p.m.