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Forum News Service, Published February 13 2013

Polka-dot house fire caused by smoking

GRAND FORKS - The fire Saturday night at Grand Forks’ well-known polka-dot house was caused by smoking in an upstairs room, the fire department said Wednesday.

Injured in the fire was John Rodney Dillon Davis, 40, who was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, the department said.

The accidental fire, caused by the improper use of smoking materials in a second-floor sleeping room, left considerable damage to that floor, the department said.

The owner of the house says he plans to renovate the house on University Avenue, which garnered some notoriety last year when he painted polka dots on it. He said he plans to keep the motif.

The house has five sleeping rooms and one full apartment. Smoke alarms warned most of the tenants, and they exited before the arrival of firefighters, who were dispatched at 10:48 p.m.

Davis had to be removed. He was taken to the local hospital before being transferred to the St. Paul hospital, which did not release his condition Wednesday afternoon.