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Published April 13 2012

Rabbits alert tenants to house fire near Finley, N.D.

FINLEY, N.D. – Pet rabbits alerted a woman and man to a fire that heavily damaged a home in rural Finley early today, Steele County Sheriff Wayne Beckman said.

The woman, Tracy Jacobson, was still awake when she heard the rabbits making noise in the attached garage, Beckman said.

Jacobson woke up her friend, Ron Everson, who also lives in the house. They discovered a fire in the garage and tried to put water on it before calling 911 at about 2 a.m., Beckman said.

The fire spread into the attic of the home, causing extensive damage. Finley firefighters requested help from Cooperstown, and it took about two hours to knock down the smoke and flames, Beckman said.

“There’s not much left of it,” he said of the home, adding some furnishings may be salvageable.

Two rabbits died in the blaze, he said.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but it's believed to have started in a corner of the garage near an electrical outlet, Beckman said.

Jacobson and Everson don’t own the home, located about five miles west and a half-mile north of Finley, Beckman said.

Finley is about 80 miles northwest of Fargo.