Report on fatal fire expected shortly

NEW ULM – Nearly two weeks after the fire at 101 Center Street claimed the life of Darcy Moldan, the cause remains under investigation.

The final report on the fire’s cause is expected to be released within the next few days.

New Ulm Fire Chief Paul Macho said the process was slow, but necessary. If a fire occurs, the city’s fire and police departments assist with the investigation. However, when there is a fatality, the State requires an investigation by the fire marshal.

The investigation involves interviewing witnesses, conducting chemical tests and examining fire patterns, Macho said.

When multiple parties are effected by the fire, as was the situation in the Center Street apartment building, insurance investigators can become involved.

“We share what we all know. It is in everyone’s best interest to know what happened,” said Macho.

Questions regarding the apartment building’s safety have been raised.

New Ulm’s Fire & Building Inspector Ellwood Zabel said the City’s fire code requires an inspection every two years for apartment buildings. This ordinance was put into effect in 2011; however, Zabel said no inspection of the property at 101 Center had been conducted since 2008.

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