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Kyle Potter, Published August 04 2013

Flames destroy garage in Moorhead

A fire broke out at a home in southeast Moorhead on Sunday afternoon, destroying the house’s attached garage.

Moorhead firefighters responded to reports of a fire at 1703 33rd St. S. just after 1 p.m. No one was inside at the time of the fire, but the garage was fully engulfed by the time fire crews arrived.

Crews were able to put out the fire within minutes, onlookers said, confining the flames mostly to the garage. Between the totaled garage and smoke damage throughout the house, Assistant Fire Chief Chad Stangeland guessed that the fire caused between $50,000 and $70,000 in damages.

Owner Brad Arends said he, his wife and four children had left town at noon Sunday. They had planned to head for Minneapolis later in the afternoon before he got a call about the fire.

Arends was at a loss for words, shaking his head as he surveyed the charred remains of his garage. He said it looked like some flames had spread to the bathroom on his second floor.

Bill Wilke said he was pulling into his own driveway down the street when he saw flames nearly 6 feet tall spreading near the front of Arends’ garage. He grabbed a fire extinguisher, told his wife to call 911 and took off down the road.

“By the time I got half-way down the cul-de-sac, the garage was fully en-gulfed,” he said, adding that he saw several explosions from inside.

Arends kept gasoline in the garage, he said, adding there were probably some old fireworks from the Fourth of July inside.

Moorhead fire investigators will work to determine what caused the fire.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kyle Potter at (701) 241-5502