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North Dakota

Former North Dakota State Capitol building burned 90 years ago



Ninety years ago Monday, the North Dakota capitol building burned to the ground.

According to the North Dakota State Historical Society, the capitol building’s janitor heard a loud cracking noise and saw flames shooting from the Senate Chambers on the fourth floor of the former building. The janitor called the Bismarck Fire Department, but the building couldn’t be saved.

The fire destroyed the capitol building except for the two lower floors of the north wing. Many records from the Highway Department, tax commissioner and the attorney general were lost. The exact cause of the fire was never fully determined.

North Dakota’s current state capitol building was completed in 1934.