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Firefighters rescue man from suspected arson fire in West Fargo house

Firefighters used animal CPR and resuscitation equipment to revive two dogs rescued from the home, both of which were breathing on their own after their rescue.

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West Fargo Fire personnel revive a dog rescued from a burning house at 513 17th St. E. in West Fargo on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
David Samson / The Forum
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WEST FARGO — Firefighters here rescued a man who had barricaded himself inside a burning house Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 10.

After finding what appeared to be multiple fires started inside the house, West Fargo Fire Chief Dan Fuller said investigators suspected arson as the cause of the blaze.

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Local emergency personnel work the scene of a house fire at 513 17th St. E. in West Fargo on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
David Samson / The Forum

Emergency responders arrived at the home at 513 17th St. E. around 4 p.m., just as two women were being "pulled out of the house by the police department," according to Fuller. He said later he thought the women may have been trying to get back inside, as crews then found a man in the basement and two dogs inside the home.

The man had barricaded himself inside the house and was unconscious, but firefighters were able to pull him out. He was being treated at the scene by emergency medical crews late Tuesday afternoon.

His condition was not immediately available. Another resident suffered from smoke inhalation.

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Firefighters used animal CPR and resuscitation equipment to revive the dogs rescued from the home, both of which were breathing on their own after their rescue.

Fuller said all three people live at the home. A heavy police presence was on scene, as well as Fargo firefighters, who assisted as both Fargo and West Fargo fire departments were training battalion chiefs on Tuesday.

"We were just talking about the importance of mutual aid today and yesterday," Fuller said. "There were a lot of simultaneous tasks that needed to happen, and the team worked very well together today."

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West Fargo Fire Department personnel lift a dog after reviving the animal at the scene of a house fire at 513 17th St. E. in West Fargo on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
David Samson / The Forum

The blaze was extinguished before 5 p.m. Fuller said the home was heavily damaged by smoke and water.

Fire hydrants near the home were clear, he said, making the job of tackling the fire easier. West Fargo promotes an Adopt-A-Hydrant program that asks residents to help ensure hydrants are clear of snow and debris.

As of 5:30 p.m., 17th Street East remained closed between the 400 and 500 blocks while crews continued to monitor the extinguished fire. Fuller said the residents would not be able to return home for the night due to the damage, but they would be assisted by the Salvation Army and Red Cross.

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Emergency vehicles line 17th Street East in West Fargo on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
Wendy Reuer / The Forum

As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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