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Man Dies in Northwestern Minnesota Fire - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Man Dies in Northwestern Minnesota Fire

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  The death of a man in northwestern Minnesota fire has been ruled accidental.

  84-year old John Meyers of rural, Thief River Falls died Thursday night, when his home burned to the ground.

  Meyers lived alone in his home 9-miles southwest of Thief River.

  A neighbor driving by spotted the flames and called 9-1-1 at 9:30 Thursday night. It was already too late when firefighters arrived on the scene.  The body of John Meyers', along with two of his pet dogs were recovered from the ashes.

  Officials may never know exactly what caused this fire. The Sheriff says by the time they arrived on the scene there was nothing left.

Sheriff Ray Kuznia: "It was hard to tell even, which side of the house it started."

Reporter: "Did the house have a wood burning stove?"

Kuznia: "Yes, the house had a wood burning stove."

Reporter: "But, you don't know if that's the cause?"

Kuznia: "At this point, we do not know the cause."

  Kuznia says a forensic examination shows that Meyers died from smoke inhalation and the fire. There is nothing suspicious about his death. However, since the destruction was so complete, there's little information in this case.

Sheriff Ray Kuznia: "We do not know if he had smoke detectors for sure or not. Like I said the house was completely engulfed and there was nothing left of it inside to be able to tell if there were smoke detectors or not."

  Kuznia says a third dog was outside the home, survived the blaze and has been taken to the humane society. However, half a dozen chickens being kept in a chicken coop of sorts, next to the home also died in the fire.

  Sheriff Kuznia says a lone chicken left wandering around the property was going to be picked up by the humane society.

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