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Forum staff reports, Published February 15 2013

Space heater suspected as cause of north Fargo house fire

FARGO – Firefighters were called out to a house fire early this morning they suspect may have been caused by a space heater.

A neighbor called about 5:30 a.m. reporting a fire at 1437 3rd Ave. N., said Assistant Fire Chief Gary Lorenz.

When fire crews arrived on scene smoke, was coming from windows and vents on the second floor and flames could be seen inside the house through the windows.

Fire crews entered the house through the front door and encountered heavy smoke conditions, Lorenz stated in a release. Fire was found in two separate locations: one about halfway up the stairs to the second floor and the second was in an upstairs bedroom.

Crews extinguished the fires and searched the home verifying there were no people or pets inside. Fire crews had difficulty maneuvering around the house because of the large amount of furnishings and materials present.

Lorenz said the fire caused moderate structural damage to the stairway and second floor and significant smoke damage throughout the house. There were no working smoke detectors present in the home.

The homeowner was not home at the time, and there were no pets inside. Lorenz said he believes the home will still be inhabitable.

He said the department is investigating the possibility that a space heater might have caused the fire.