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Iron Range apartment complex loses heat, nearly 150 residents evacuated

A boiler problem caused the heating issue.
EMT Colton Anderson holding a resident's small dog during the evacuation.

EMT Colton Anderson holding a resident's small dog during the evacuation.

Nearly 150 residents of a large apartment complex in Virginia, Minnesota, had to be evacuated after the buildings lost heat.

The city's fire department said a boiler problem at the Columbia and Rouchleau Housing complex was reported Wednesday.

The issue left both buildings without any heat — on a day that began with temps well below zero, climbing into the teens by the late afternoon. 

Crews were working on the boiler, but a nearby water main break complicated the repairs.

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The Virginia Fire Department ultimately evacuated all 147 residents (and their pets) at the two apartment buildings. Arrowhead Transit buses took the residents to the Iron Trails Motor Event Center for short-term shelter.

Authorities are also reaching out to local hotels and motels for a longer-term solution while the boiler remains down.

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