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Man killed in north Moorhead duplex fire loved his kids, and his clocks

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Philip Skatvold2 / 4
Some of Skatvold's clock collection. Special to The Forum3 / 4
Some of Skatvold's clock collection. Special to The Forum4 / 4

MOORHEAD — A father and avid clock collector killed in a duplex fire here last week was identified by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office Thursday, April 20.

Phillip Sigurd Skatvold, 68, lived at the residence with Kristen Skatvold, his adult daughter who was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo for treatment the night of the fire, Friday, April 14, Moorhead police Lt. Brad Penas said in a statement issued Thursday.

Firefighters responded to 2424 Country Club Parkway at 1:40 a.m. Friday to find most of the main floor engulfed in flames and soon discovered Skatvold's body. Another woman injured in the fire is still hospitalized, Penas said, and the fire investigation remains ongoing.

Phillip Skatvold's son, Ben Skatvold, said in a phone interview Thursday night that he was told by officials the cause of the fire was believed to be a baseboard heater. He added his sister and her boyfriend were both at the place on Parkway on Friday night and the fire was accidental.

Ben said that his dad referred to himself as a "clock sucker," meaning he was a sucker for going to thrift stores and adding to his collection of "damn near 300 clocks."

"They're all burnt down now," he said.

The fatal fire, he added, was "so sudden like that."

Other hobbies of his father were cars, hot rods and guns. But more than anything, Ben said "he loved his clocks and his kids," who all lived in Moorhead.

Skatvold is originally of Thief River Falls and attended high school and college in Moorhead before he was drafted to Germany in the U.S. Army. When he returned to Moorhead a year later, he started working for the family business, the Scott-Moeller Company, according to his obituary.

Ben Skatvold said the company, owned by his grandfather, closed sometime around 1999. In its final years it was operated by his dad and uncle who fixed grain elevators and did machine maintenance in Moorhead's industrial park.

A memorial service will be held Friday, April 21, at 11 a.m. at Wright Funeral Home in Moorhead. Friends and family may gather together from 10 to 11 a.m.

Video tribute and online guestbook at

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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