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'I have nothing' -- Area woman loses everything in downtown apartment complex fire

Morgan LaRoche moved into the apartment less than 24 hours prior to the fire that claimed all her and her daughters' belongings. According to LaRoche, the fire started with her refrigerator after the power was turned on. Photo by James B. Miller, Jr. / The Dickinson Press1 / 3
Dickinson Fire Department responded to a fire at Lily Pad Apartments, 115 First Ave. E., at about 11 a.m., that started on the second floor. There were no injuries. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)2 / 3
Dickinson Police Department assisted firefighters through the use of their newly acquired Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) drone. The drone provided firefighters with infrared imaging of the building to assist in finding potential secondary fires. Photo by James B. Miller, Jr. / The Dickinson Press3 / 3

A general-alarm fire beginning late this morning saw Dickinson Fire Department's two stations respond to the Lily Pad Apartments at 115 1st Ave E.

According to Assistant Chief of Support, Deb Barros, the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but was she was able to confirm that the department responded to the fire after receiving a call from a resident of the apartment.

"The fire was a room-and-contents fire that stayed contained within the apartment of origin," Barros said. "There were no injuries to any residents, animals, or firefighters. Smoke alarms activated and did their job notifying other residents of the apartment to evacuate."

For Morgan LaRoche the entire ordeal was surreal.

"I'm the 'lucky' one. The fire started in my apartment," LaRoche said through tears. "I had the power turned on today, because my two daughters and I just moved into the apartment yesterday. We were going to come in today after the power was turned on and unload everything."

According to LaRoche, her entire life was in boxes inside the apartment.

"I came in at 8:30 this morning to see if the power was on yet," LaRoche said. "It wasn't on yet, so I went to an appointment down the street and I pulled up and saw all the cops and the fire trucks."

LaRoche arrived on the scene and was notified by other residents that the fire had started in her apartment.

"The guy that first tried to put it out said it came from the refrigerator, but he couldn't put it out before it started to take out the entire apartment," she said. "The property manager walked up to me and told me it was the fridge in my apartment that started it."

Firefighters were able to put out the fire and turned the scene over to the property owner.

A GoFundMe account has been set up and donations to help the family can be made at the following link:

You can find additional photos in Wednesday's printed edition.