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Dave Olson, Published January 09 2009

Area fire departments busy Thursday responding to multiple fires

Area fire departments were kept busy Thursday with at least one house fire each in Fargo and Moorhead.

In Moorhead, firefighters were called to 1108 20th St. N. about 3:15 p.m. on a report of heavy smoke coming from the building.

Moorhead police officers entered an unlocked back door and found Terrance J. Menge, 37, asleep in the living room.

Menge was helped out of the house and treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, police said.

Moorhead Fire Chief Joel Hewitt said Menge had experienced a grease fire earlier in the day, but believed it had been put out.

Hewitt said Menge took a nap and didn’t wake up until he was warned of the fire.

Neighbor Leigh Holzer, who was watching the scene unfold with his four young daughters, said he saw police sit Menge in a squad car to warm him up.

But otherwise, he seemed “OK,” Holzer said.

Fargo firefighters were called to a house at 812 9th St. S. about 2:15 p.m. on a report of smoke billowing from the building.

Fargo Fire Marshal Norm Scott said they found no one home when they arrived, but a Great Dane found kenneled in the basement was led out of the house and placed in a squad car.

Scott said it appeared the fire started in the kitchen and spread to the second story.

He did not have a dollar estimate on the damage.

Heavy smoke and steam was still issuing from the house 45 minutes after the fire was reported.

Fargo city records show that the house at 812 9th St. S. is a single-family home owned by Christopher and Holly Kraft.

Also Thursday, firefighters from the Glyndon (Minn.) Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched about 4:44 p.m. to extinguish a fire in a corn dryer at Benedict Farms east of Moorhead.

About 15 minutes later, firefighters from Hawley, Minn., were dispatched to the Spring Prairie Hutterite Colony for a boiler room that was on fire.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said the building was somewhat isolated and did not pose a threat to other structures. He said the structure containing the boiler was largely concrete and firefighters did not have trouble dealing with the fire.

On Wednesday, Glyndon firefighters put out a fire in a corn dryer at the Kragnes Farmers Elevator east of Dilworth.

A company official said the dryer was likely a total loss, as were the 1,000 bushels of corn in the dryer at the time of the blaze.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555