ROCHESTER, Minn. – A kitchen fire forced residents to flee an apartment complex early Saturday morning.
Around 4:14 am, the Rochester Fire Department was called to Meadow Park Apartments on 4 Avenue SE and arrived to find heavy smoke on the second floor and an evacuation in progress. Firefighters traced the smoke to an apartment and found an unattended cooking fire that had burned itself out.
The Fire Department used fans to remove smoke and other toxic gases from the apartment building so residents could return to their homes. No one was injured.
Authorities say cooking is by far the leading cause of structure fires in Minnesota; almost half of all structure fires are due to cooking according to a 2017 report by the State Fire Marshall. The top three factors in cooking fires is unattended cooking, combustibles to close to cooking equipment, and cooking equipment accidently turned on.