CARRINGTON, N.D. - Three children died in a mobile home fire in Carrington early Saturday, Feb. 25, authorities said.
Carrington Fire Chief Ken Wangen said three adults and three children were in the mobile home fire, but declined to identify the victims or survivors. It is not clear how badly the survivors were injured, he said.
According to a GoFundMe page, Brandon and Dawn Tufte lived in the home and their three children died in the fire. The Foster County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that three children were killed in the fire. The GoFundMe page is raising money for the family, and can be found at http://bit.ly/2lW6fb8.
The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined, and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the state fire marshal are investigating the fire. The bodies will be taken to the medical examiner’s office in Grand Forks, Wangen said.
The burned home at 420 17th Ave. N in Westside Trailer Court was a total loss, Wangen said. He said the fire department determined the fire started in the front bedroom.
Wangen said Carrington’s volunteer firefighters were called to the scene at about 4:30 a.m. The mobile home was completely involved in the fire when they arrived, he said. He said firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading because the first truck got water on the blaze right away. The last truck returned to the fire station at 12:20 p.m., almost eight hours after first arriving at the fire.
About 20 to 24 Carrington and New Rockford firefighters assisted in putting out the fire, Wangen said. Six Carrington firefighters who were at the State Fire School in Minot arrived at about 9 a.m. and took over, which allowed firefighters who had been there since 4:30 a.m. to return to the station, he said.
The American Red Cross responded to the fire, and will be helping survivors with their immediate needs, said Gretchen Hjelmstad, regional communications officer. Since the home was a total loss, the Red Cross will provide comfort kits to the survivors and offer them emergency shelter, she said.
Brittany Overby lives two trailers from the location of the fire, and she said she could see the fire from her kitchen window. She and other neighbors were evacuated from their homes while firefighters fought the fire.
Overby said she is proud of the fire department for keeping the fire contained.
“It’s one of those things that you don’t think can happen to you until it happens close to home,” Overby said. “I don’t know how to feel yet; it’s too soon.”