A Wahpeton home has been declared a total loss following a fire that began shortly after 11:30 p.m. Monday, March 12.
The Wahpeton Fire Department was on the scene for approximately four hours. The fire occurred at 606 10 1/2 St. North. It is believed to have been caused when a hose to a clothing dryer caught fire.
“We were in the living room and then there was smoke and I went, ‘Mom, there’s smoke back there. Check by the dryer.’ And there was a fire back there,” said Alexis Soukup, 18.
The Soukups, a family of seven, had lived in the home for nearly four years. According to mother Michelle Soukup, the family was in the process of buying the home.
“We tried putting it out before we called the cops,” she said.
At nearly 1 a.m. Tuesday, March 13, the fire appeared to be extinguished. Suddenly, flames were visible on the roof. Firefighter Eric Heger, who spent much of the past hour atop a ladder to extinguish flames and heavy smoke, removed shingles and siding while quickly subduing the fire.
Firefighters returned to the scene at approximately 4:45 a.m. to extinguish a hot spot.
Until the incident, Michelle Soukup said she’d never had any concerns about fires in her home.
“Nothing you can do about it. No reason getting upset now,” Alexis Soukup said.
The Soukups have been relocated to a Wahpeton hotel. Assistance is being provided by the American Red Cross.