UPDATE: Proximity of Hydrants Hamper Morning Fire Fight - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

UPDATE: Proximity of Hydrants Hamper Morning Fire Fight

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Updated Story

A father and his four girls are lucky to have escaped an early morning fire from their mobile home in North Fargo, which was fully engulfed with flames. Fire crews say the damage is estimated at $35,000 dollars. All of the family's belongings are gone and two pets were also killed in the fire.

The family says the only thing to survive the fire with them is one of their dogs. For now, the family is staying with friends and the American Red Cross stepped in to help with food and clothes.

As the reality of their loss sets in, one of the girls, Alexis Olek, who will be a senior in high school this fall is still in shock. She says she never imagined something like this would happen to her family.

"Yeah we lost pretty much everything, and it sucks cause I am going to be a senor this year, so I had tons of things I wanted to put on display. But, I don't know, things are replaceable, people aren't," she says.

No word yet on the cause of the fire yet. While crews continue to investigate, the family and firefighters say there is a lack of fire hydrants near the home, which made the battle with the fire more difficult.

"People say they go up like matchbooks, they do,” says Heith Olek, the homeowner. He doesn't have a fire hydrant in his front yard, which is something he says he was never concerned about until he needed one.

"I have no idea where the fire hydrants are, I know there is not one on every corner like there should be," he adds.

There are four hydrants in the Riviera Heights mobile home park, and the Olek's house is one of the furthest away from any of them.

"I watched them get the hose out, and when they didn't immediately start spraying it with water I was super confused, then I realize the fire hydrant wasn't close by," says Emma Olek, one of Heith’s daughters.

There was a fire hydrant issue according to Battalion Chief Dane Carley, which made the fire harder to fight.

"We ended up having to take water off of two engines to feed the engines that was fighting the fire because the hydrants were so far apart," he says.  "Really just luck of the draw and we didn't get the lucky draw I guess, we ended up being further away from the hydrants than normal," Carley explains.

According to Fire Marshal Ryan Erickson, it appears Riviera Heights is up to code for when it was built.

"When you build to the fire code, you are building to the bare minimum standard, that we as a society have decided this is a safe measure," he says. 

But, code is constantly updated and it is the responsibility of property owners to put in more precautions if they think it's necessary.

"It's a trailer park, there should be more than a regular house area, I would like, considering what happens to trailer parks when they burn," says Heith.

"I think it would be really smart, because instances like this, I could have been a lot faster," says Emma.

Fire crews say every fire has a different challenge and, in this case, it was fire hydrants. We tried reaching out to the owner of the mobile home park to find out if this fire has sparked an idea for more hydrants to be added to the neighborhood. He has not returned our calls.

Original Story:

A father and his daughters escaped from a Fargo mobile home that caught fire early Tuesday morning.  It happened on the 3500 block of Rainier Rue Street.

When crews arrived the home was engulfed in flames. Firefighters say the mobile home is a total loss but many items in the front of the home, and the kids' bedrooms may still be salvaged.

Battalion Chief Dane Carley says they had an issue reaching the fire hydrant and had to bring in four trucks to get enough water to put out the fire.

No one was hurt, however crews believe a pet didn't escape from the home. Fire officials say the home suffered heavy fire, smoke, and water damage estimated at $35,000. There isn't an official cause at this time but neighbors we talked with say fireworks could have possibly started the fire.

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