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Garage fire ruled accident

Smoke billowed from the garage of the residence when firefighters opened the garage at 1209 W. Ninth St. on Friday morning. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

According to New Richmond Fire Chief Jim VanderWyst, the garage fire — which started at 9:15 a.m. Friday, July 14, at 1209 W. Ninth St. — was unintentional/accidental, but the department is still unsure what exactly started the fire.

“There was no interior damage or any structural damage. The fire destroyed some of the Christmas decorations that the family had in the garage and they also lost some of the facade and vinyl on the front of the house,” VanderWyst said.

VanderWyst said that if the department hadn’t gotten a call as quickly as they did things might have been very different. The early call from a concerned citizen allowed the department to respond before the fire could get started and spread to the rest of the house or any of the other connected houses in the 4-plex.

“Whoever saw and called in the fire did a good job and really saved a lot of people’s homes,” VanderWyst said. “We got there quickly enough that the fire never had a chance to get started.”

The owners of the home were not home at the time of the fire and the garage was largely empty other than the Christmas decorations, VanderWyst said.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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