On April 3, 2024, Watford City, North Dakota, was struck by a devastating structure fire that left a two-story duplex in ruins and displaced approximately 12 individuals, including a family. The incident occurred around 12:38 PM in the 3300 block of 11th Ave. Northeast, prompting a swift response from the Watford City Police Department and Fire Department.

When emergency personnel arrived, authorities confirmed the active blaze and initiated evacuation procedures, fearing occupants might still be inside. Thankfully, firefighters ensured the building was clear, rescuing five individuals, including several juveniles, from harm's way. Nearby residences were also evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Despite the valiant efforts of the Watford City Fire Department, it took approximately three hours to extinguish the inferno. Tragically, the duplex sustained significant damage, rendering it uninhabitable.

In the wake of this disaster, Bakken Oil Rush Ministries and the North Dakota Red Cross have stepped in to provide aid to the displaced individuals, offering support and resources during this difficult time.

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According to the Watford City Police Department, the cause of the fire remains unknown, prompting an ongoing investigation led by the North Dakota State Fire Marshal’s Office. Multiple agencies that assisted with this incident, including McKenzie County Ambulance Service, McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office, McKenzie County Emergency Management, Watford City Fire Department, Twin Valley Fire Department, North Dakota State Fire Marshall’s Office, Montana-Dakota Utilities, and McKenzie Electric, collaborated to manage the crisis and support the investigation process.

Authorities urge anyone with pertinent information about the incident to contact the Watford City Police Department at (701) 842-2280.

As the community grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy, the outpouring of support from local organizations underscores the resilience and solidarity of Watford City in the face of adversity. According to McKenzie County Emergency Management, a benefit account has been established at First International Bank.

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