Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Two people were killed Thursday evening when a fire roared through a northeast Rochester apartment building. Deputy Fire Chief Steve Belau says firefighters responded to a four-plex at 409 27th street northeast around 5:45 p.m. and found smoke pouring out the windows of the building, just across North Broadway from the Bowlocity Entertainment Center.

Belau says several occupants of an upper-level unit were rescued by firefighters using ladders, and neighbors then reported that people were believed to be present in a lower-level apartment on the north side of the structure. Firefighters were able to enter the unit through a kitchen window and the occupants were brought outside. One person was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other was rushed to St.Mary’s Hospital, where attempts at resuscitation failed.

Belau says the victims were a 25 year old woman and a 2 year old girl.  Their names have not been released.

Belau says a third person was treated at the scene, but declined further medical treatment.

He says about half of the building sustained flame damage and the loss has been estimated at over $150,000. The American Red Cross is assisting five people were displaced by the fire, which apparently had been burning undetected for an extended period of time before it was discovered.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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