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Forum staff reports, Published May 18 2013

Fire destroys house near Dent

DENT, Minn. – A fire said to be caused by a candle destroyed a house here around 8:50 a.m. Saturday.

Three juveniles were helping Timothy Gaugherty, 40, clean out his home at 31112 380th St., and were using a candle in a bedroom where there was no other light source, according to an Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office news release.

While the juveniles were in the garage, Gaugherty noticed smoke from the bedroom where the candle was left burning, according to the release. The fire quickly got out of control and the occupants got out.

The homeowner and juveniles believe the candle caused the fire, according to the release. The incident is under investigation.

According to the news release, the home has been vacant for the past few months. It is believed the property is under foreclosure, but the homeowner was talking with the financial company to get the home out of probate. The owner stated he had no insurance on the property, according to the release. Other family members may have ownership in the property.

The house is a total loss, but there were no injuries.

Dent, Vergas and Underwood fire departments responded to the scene.