‘It’s pretty much all gone:’ Rural Argusville home destroyed in fire

UPDATE: Harwood Fire and Rescue confirms lightning strike is most likely cause
Lightning strike might have caused fire
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 7:08 PM CDT
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ARGUSVILLE, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A home was destroyed by a fire Friday, Sept 29 at 16691 28th St. Southeast in rural Argusville.

“I get a phone call that my house is on fire. I kinda thought it was a joke at first, but then when I got about a mile away I thought it wasn’t a joke when I saw the smoke flying,” explains Ben Sorgert. He just moved into the home on August 10.

He says, “Flames were shooting out of it and I just figured everything I’m going to own is lost now so, kind of a bummer.”

Thankfully, nobody was inside the home when the fire started and the dogs were with the neighbors, but Sorgert’s cat died from smoke inhalation.

Sorgert’s roommate, Camron Miller, said he didn’t believe it at first when he got the call.

“It didn’t really set in right away it just took awhile,” explains Miller.

He adds, “Everything just kind of, is gone now, and we have to kind of pick it back up and start over.”

Officials say they received a call for a structure fire just before 9 am. The fire departments from Argusville, Mapleton, and Harwood all responded to the call. The Salvation Army, Cass County Sheriff’s Office, and Sanford Ambulance were also on the scene.

“The propane line was burning that was going into the house. Why? Not 100% sure but that’s really all we have to go by for now,” says Harwood Fire Chief, Marc Mosser.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but given that it started during the thunderstorm Sorgert speculates that a lightning strike may be to blame.

“It’s possible. So, again not 100% sure, but we’ll do our best,” assures Mosser.

Fire Chief Mosser says they’ll work with the State Fire Marshall’s Office to figure out exactly what happened. Cass County Electric says lightning hit a nearby electrical pole, causing a power outage on the property.

In a follow up email, Harwood Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Brian Giere says, “We believe that it was started by the lightning strike then was fueled by the propane line. That is what we have been able to determine at this point.”

“From what I’ve looked inside so far. It’s pretty much all gone,” says Sorgert.