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Erik Burgess, Published August 06 2012

Moorhead family after house fire: 'We've been through worse'

MOORHEAD – Outdoor summertime grilling is suspected to be the cause of a house fire here that crews battled for under an hour Monday evening, according to fire officials and the homeowner.

Jamie Woodward, who lives at 212 11th St. S. with his pregnant wife and two children, said he was not home when his wife called and told him there was a fire.

“My wife was cooking steaks and there was some kind of propane fire,” Woodward said, standing outside as Moorhead firefighters continued to pump water into the smoldering home. “She had heard a boom and opened up the door and saw that the outside was engulfed in flames.”

Woodward said his wife escaped the home safely with the children, and they were not injured.

Damage estimates to the home are roughly $75,000, according to Fire Chief Rich Duysen.

The fire started on the patio with the propane gas grill before moving up the side of the house toward the attic, Duysen said.

Neighbors said they heard two distinct and loud explosion-like sounds at around 6:15 p.m. Monday.

When Erik Baron, who lives two houses down, went outside to look, he saw smoke rising out of the home.

“The siding was melting off the side of their house,” Baron said. “It could’ve very easily spread to the neighbor’s house. It could’ve been windier.”

Only the one home was affected in the blaze, Capt. Ben Hicks said.

Woodward said he’s just happy that everyone made it out safely.

“I’m upset, but we’ve been through worse, and we’ll be fine,” Woodward said. “Kids are fine. She’s fine. She’s with baby. Baby’s fine. Dumb dog’s fine.”

FM Ambulance, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army also responded to the scene.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518