West Fargo Fire rules house fire as accidental

Published: Feb. 14, 2020 at 10:37 AM CST
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The cause of the Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, fire in the 200 block of 9 ½ Avenue W. has been ruled accidental due to a juvenile playing with a lighter.

The West Fargo Fire Department will be working with the family as part of the youth firesetters program to address this incident.

The program is designed to understand the reasons the incident may have occurred and taught preventative measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.


Original: The West Fargo Fire Department responded to a four-alarm residential fire Friday morning. Crews were called to reports of smoke coming out of a multi-resident building in the 200 block of 9 ½ Avenue W. When they arrived on the scene, heavy smoke was coming from the second-floor area and residents confirmed no one was inside.

Crews were able to quickly enter and knock down the heavy fire in an upstairs bedroom with the aid hydrants in the area that had been cleared and maintained by the neighborhood. The availability of cleared hydrants allowed crews to contain the fire to one residence with no damage to other residences in the area.

West Fargo residents can adopt a hydrant by visiting and clicking the Adopt A Hydrant icon, or directly at On the site, visitors can register with their email address and name. Once registered, users can select a hydrant to adopt and be responsible for clearing the hydrant of snow and ice during the winter and keeping an eye on the hydrant in case of any other issues.

Keeping hydrants clear of snow and ice is critically important during an emergency.

“A structure can be fully engulfed in fire in less than 15 minutes and even minimal smoke damage could cause an entire structure to be demolished,” said Fire Marshal Dell Sprecher. “The cleared hydrants saved us critical time when we arrived on the scene.”

When clearing a hydrant, Sprecher asks volunteers to clear a 3-foot radius around the hydrant and ensuring access is available from the road. The West Fargo Fire Department estimates it can take the average individual about 20 minutes to clear the hydrant with a shovel or brush after the average snowfall. Those who do choose to clear snow should also take frequent breaks and avoid overexertion, which can lead to injuries or even heart attacks.

Residents of the rental unit have been displaced are being assisted by the American Red Cross with clothing and living arrangements. The cause of the fire is under investigation and no further comment will be provided.


Original: Several units responded to a house fire in West Fargo this morning.

The fire started in the 200 block of 9 1/2 Avenue W and the call came in around 9:40 AM.

The blaze started on the second floor of the rental home and firefighters were able to successfully put it out before it spread to the first floor.

According to the Fire Marshall on scene, the only reason the house was able to be saved was because the family had shoveled around their fire hydrant which allowed the crews to access it and put out the blaze.

Instead, the two adults and two children will only be temporarily displaced as they work to repair the damages caused by the fire.

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