Many residents were affected by the fire at Larson Commons in Cloquet on Friday, July 6.

According to Larson Commons spokesperson Sandi Scott, none of the residents were injured.

Five apartment units suffered water damage, as did the elevator.

Dan Williams at Northern Minnesota Red Cross said they gave financial assistance to 32 residents last week.

Most of the assistance was in the form of a debit card to help residents purchase food or a place to spend the night, or whatever the needs were.

"This is a group with lots of needs," Williams said. He added that Black Bear Casino Resort Hotel and Americas Best Value Inn in Proctor were great to work with.

Walmart in Cloquet donated snacks that Red Cross members handed out to residents.

Cloquet Area Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at Larson Commons, a senior assisted living facility in downtown Cloquet. When they arrived, they discovered several residents calling for help out of their windows on the top floors. The smoke from the fire was so thick they could not see to find their way out.

The fire sprinkler went off near the fire and extinguished most of the fire by the time CAFD arrived at the scene, according to Battalion Chief Jesse Buhs. CAFD finished putting out the fire and helped residents out of their rooms.

The fire started in a sitting area in a hallway on the fifth floor of the building in some furniture. Buhs said there were artificial plants nearby that contributed to the thick smoke.

"It's a really well-built building," Buhs said. The 85-unit complex was constructed in 1980.

"All of the apartments were evacuated overnight," Scott said. Power had been restored by the next day and Cloquet Police Department and CAFD assisted residents back into their apartments.

"We had a lot of great support from the community," Scott said.

Scott said the elevator is being assessed, but he does not know when it will be working again.

"It's amazing how a fire happens at 7 p.m. on a Friday night and people show up to help right away," Williams said. "It reminds me how committed volunteers really are."