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150 people evacuated from Virginia apartments due to lack of heat

Residents Evacuated from Apartment Complexes
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 7:12 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - A mass evacuation was underway on the Iron Range Wednesday evening, after the heat went out at two Virginia apartment buildings.

According to the Virginia Fire Department, heat went out in the Columbia and Rouchleau Housing complex earlier Wednesday.

Officials blame a boiler problem being hampered by a water line break nearby.

Approximately 150 residents were being transported to the Iron Trail Motors Event Center.

From there they will either be taken to a hotel or picked up by a loved one.

As of 10 p.m., officials were going floor by floor, helping get people out and onto Arrowhead Transit buses.

They were about half finished with the process at that time.

Officials ask relatives or loved ones of residents to not come to the apartment buildings, but instead go to the event center.

The Virginia Fire Chief asks for community donations of food and water be sent to the event center, as the concessions are not open there.

Residents we spoke with said it had been a frustrating day.

“The apartment went cold,” said Resident Jolene Kivela. “I’ve been using my oven to keep the apartment warm.”

Virginia Mayor Larry Cuffee, Jr. said there had been no reports of injuries to residents.

This is a developing story, check back with KBJR6 for more details.

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