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Monday morning fire destroys Rugby property

By Staff | Apr 24, 2020

Sue Sitter/PCT A vacant home at 602 6th Ave. SW has tape around it after a Monday morning fire caused heavy damage.

An early morning fire caused significant damage to a vacant home in Rugby on Monday morning before it flared up again that afternoon.

Chief Derek Bush of the Rugby Volunteer Fire Department told the Tribune the first call to the home, located at 602 6th Ave. SW, went out Monday at 3:45 a.m.

“It was hard to tell how long it had been burning (before the call),” Bush said, “but probably not a lot longer before that.”

Bush said the fire appeared to have started in the home’s garage.

“We were there probably between five and 10 minutes of the call,” Bush said. “We were back at the fire station about 6:30.”

Bush estimated 25 firefighters went to the scene. “It was most of the department,” he noted.

“The fire marshal was there yesterday along with the (North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation) and a few other people investigating,” Bush said, adding, “It’s undetermined as to what the cause of the fire was.”

Bush said the damage to the vacant home included the attached garage and a portion of the northeast side of the structure. “Everything was contained to just that yard,” he said of the property loss.

After Monday’s investigation, firefighters were called back to the scene to put out a smaller fire on the structure’s roof.

“I think with the wind, it just flared up,” Bush said. “We were struggling with a section up on the roof, and we thought we had it pretty good. When the fire investigation was going on there all day, they never had any smoke but I think when the wind picked up later in the afternoon, it just stirred things up a little bit.”

“We sprayed water and foam on it. When I got (to the scene) after work, the crew was all done. I looked it over and decided it was pretty good. We never had any more problems with it after that,” Bush said.

Bush took the helm as chief at the fire department in January after winning an election for the office.

“It’s not so bad so far,” he said of his relatively new job. “I’ve got no complaints yet. There’s a little bit more responsibility but it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve got a lot of guys helping me.”

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