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Published January 12 2012

Dog revived after Moorhead house fire

MOORHEAD – Fire and ambulance crews rescued and revived an unconscious dog after a fire sparked by a candle Thursday morning at a south Moorhead home.

According to Moorhead Fire Capt. Dave Allen and city Fire Marshal Rich Duysen:

Firefighters were called at 3:32 a.m. to the fire in the lower level of the bi-level home at 3018 32nd St. S.

Ruth and Merlin Lofgren and their adult son, Tom, who is staying with them in a lower-level bedroom, escaped the house un­harmed after waking up to smoke alarms sounding.

Firefighters arrived and found heavy smoke coming from the house. They stretched a hose into the lower level and extinguished a small fire in the bedroom.

A golden retriever escaped the house on its own, but firefighters had to carry out an unconscious dog, a Labrador retriever. An F-M Ambulance crew used a special breathing mask for animals to revive the dog.

The fire was caused by an unattended candle that ignited clothing in the bedroom. The bedroom sustained moderate fire damage, and there was significant smoke damage throughout the house, making it uninhabitable.

The Salvation Army and American Red Cross are assisting the fire victims with housing needs.

All three occupants suffered mild smoke inhalation, but no one was taken to the hospital.

Duysen reminded people not to leave candles unattended or near combustibles and to always blow out the candle if you leave the room.

Each year in the United States, an estimated 23,600 fires in residences are caused by candles and result in 1,525 injuries, 165 fatalities, and $390 million in direct property loss, he said, citing statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528