Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- Rochester firefighters rescued an apparent squatter from a structure fire Thursday morning. 

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A Rochester Fire Department news release says crews were dispatched to the fire shortly after 6:20 a.m. Firefighters were told the fire had started in the basement of the building and saw smoke coming from it when they arrived. 

The fire broke out at the vacant Parkside Terrace Apartments at 428 6th St. Southwest. Crews entered the building through a basement window and quickly extinguished the fire. 

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Firefighters then searched the remainder of the unoccupied building and found an individual asleep in an area of the basement adjacent to the fire. The person was removed from the structure and turned over to a Mayo Clinic Ambulance crew for further evaluation. 

Their condition is unknown. No firefighter injuries were reported. 

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Crews ventilated the building which was described to have suffered minor smoke and soot damage in an unfinished area of the basement. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Fire officials say fires at vacant structures pose a danger to firefighters because the integrity of the structure and hazards that may be inside of it are unknown. They say anyone taking shelter in an empty building may not be rescued right away due to the enhanced safety risks of a fire at a vacant structure.

Rochester Fire Department news release
Rochester Fire Department news release
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The fire department is reminding the public to seek assistance with finding shelter instead of entering a vacant building. The Rochester Police Department also responded to the fire.

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Gallery Credit: Samm Adams

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