Dog killed, 30 units damaged by New Brighton apartment fire

Updated: December 12, 2019 10:15 PM

A dog was killed and approximately 30 units were damaged by an apartment fire Thursday afternoon in New Brighton.

Flames broke out around 1:30 p.m. at Bramantes Apartments in the 800 block of County Road D. Officials said the fire started in a first-floor apartment and spread to the second and third floors.


“I saw a man come flying out of the flames from that apartment,” said Amber Johnson, who lives at the complex. “As I called the police, I asked him if anybody else was inside and he said his dog and he was screaming and crying.”

She said the fire spread rapidly.

“I don’t even know how he made it out,” said Johnson.

New Brighton Director of Public Safety Tony Paetznick told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS one person was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation and burns. Five others were evaluated on scene. A dog was killed in the fire.

According to Johnson, the smoke alarms in the building went off but she said that happens often. She told us, however, the alarms abruptly stopped this time.

“I don’t know if they assumed, like I did, oh it's just going off again, we'll shut it off and figure it out,” she said. “It’s pretty frightening.”

Paetznick said he's not aware of any problems with the fire alarms and confirmed they did activate in the complex. He said there weren't any sprinklers in the apartments.

The Red Cross responded to help those affected. The organization said it's assisting 27 adults and 14 children with food, clothing and lodging, but that number could go up.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“It’s horrible, I mean it was terrifying,” said Tommee Ruettiman, who lives at the apartment complex. “I'm just grateful it didn't come to us. I mean it was within 50 feet of us.”

He told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that his best friend wasn’t as lucky. His friend lives across the hall from the unit where the fire started.

“He actually grabbed his kids and ran out and they actually won't let him back in the building so they have nowhere to go,” said Ruettiman.

“It’s sad to know them people lost something like that, I mean they lost everything.”

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KSTP and Callan Gray

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