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Ryan Johnson, Published November 23 2012

Thanksgiving fire destroys home in Arthur, N.D.

ARTHUR, N.D. – A fire destroyed a home here and prompted a four-hour fight to get the blaze under control in the midst of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Casey Zieske, chief of the Arthur Volunteer Fire Department, said a call came in shortly before 3 p.m. about a fire at the two-story, single-family home along First Street.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department said a person who spotted smoke coming from the house knocked on the door, waking a man who was asleep on the couch and hadn’t heard the smoke alarm. The man, who Zieske said is the son of the home’s owner, was uninjured.

Up to 25 firefighters from the Arthur, Casselton and Hunter fire departments battled the blaze for about four hours before getting it under control around 7 p.m., Zieske said.

But he said the strong winds and blowing snow that swept through the region Thursday night made the job especially tough, fanning the flames and threatening to freeze water lines.

“People just get cold,” he said. “It just takes wear and tear on everybody, too.”

Zieske said the house is “pretty much gone” and was heavily damaged, while the detached garage on the property is untouched. No other homes or buildings were affected.

The house’s residents, a mother and her daughter, weren’t home at the time. He said they spent Thanksgiving night in Fargo.

The family’s two dogs were safely rescued and unharmed.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but it appears to have started in the basement in the dryer or dryer vent area, the fire chief said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587


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