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Published January 14 2010

Horse, cats perish in barn fire near Harwood

HARWOOD, N.D. – A horse and two cats died in a barn fire Wednesday near Harwood that may have been sparked by an electric heater, West Fargo Fire Chief Roy Schatschneider said.

A neighbor reported the fire at 3:46 a.m. at the Joel Vance farmstead at 5903 93rd St. N., about two miles south and two miles west of Harwood.

The 24-by-28-foot barn was engulfed in flames by the time Cass County sheriff’s deputies arrived first on scene, and the building was a total loss, Schatschneider said.

An electric heater had been running in the barn for supplemental heat, and it appears the fire could have started in that area, he said.

“But to say that that was the direct cause of it yet, we can’t say for sure, but it’s a strong possibility that that was a contributing factor,” he said.

The Harwood Fire Department also responded to the blaze. Firefighters cleared the scene at 5:30 a.m.