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Published January 09 2011

Cigarette ignites gas, destroys detached garage in south Fargo

Fire officials said a cigarette ignited leaking gasoline and sparked a fire in a detached garage Saturday evening in south Fargo.

The blaze, at 1422 20th St. S., was reported at around 7 p.m. Within minutes, dispatchers reported that the garage was fully engulfed and its roof had collapsed.

A plume of white smoke was emanating from the garage as fire crews doused the blaze. The fire was out within about 15 minutes.

Assistant Chief Larry Schuh said the homeowner had been unloading his vehicle after an ice-fishing trip when gasoline spilled from an ice auger.

The homeowner said he’d been smoking a cigarette at the time, Schuh said, which officials believe ignited the gasoline and started the fire.

No one was injured, but the garage and its contents – including at least one vehicle – were “pretty much totaled,” he said.

After the blaze, residential power lines were hanging low behind the garage and near the home. Schuh said Xcel Energy would be contacted.