MINOT, N.D. — A North Dakota fire marshal has ordered the evacuation of a large Minot apartment building that has suffered five electrical fires in three days.

Residents of the 152 units in the North Highlands Apartments haven’t been able to sleep in their homes since July 12, the Minot Daily News (http://bit.ly/2tiZalz ) reported.

City Fire Marshal Brian Andersen said the first fire happened when water entered the building through a leak in the foundation and compromised the electrical system in the elevator equipment room. That was followed by four fires in electric clothes dryers.

“The fire in the elevator equipment room was pretty significant, leading to the dryer vent fires. It’s a horrible situation,” said Andersen. “We’re fortunate it didn’t go up.”

Anderson said workers are addressing that issue and that no one is to blame.

“The building won’t be occupied until it is safe again. Some think it won’t be, but it will be,” assured Andersen. “There will be brand new underground wiring, service main, breakers and the whole works. All will be brand new and approved products.”

All repairs must be up to code and approved by the fire marshal and city inspector before residents can return to their homes.

“We still have our hands full trying to get through it,” said Andersen. “We’ll make sure that the issue that caused the fire and the wiring is fixed.”

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