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Damage estimated at $63,000 in Fargo house fire Tuesday

FARGO - Damage from a fire that started in a south Fargo garage Tuesday is estimated at $63,000.

No one was injured in the blaze, which broke out about 3 p.m.

Aldamer Kenville, 80, said he was warming the motor of his snowblower at the time.

"I put my light on the bottom of the snowblower and covered it over with a blanket as I've done half a dozen times this winter," he said. "I should have taken it outside. That's where I made my mistake."

The fire appeared to spread from the garage to the attic of the attached home at 2909 12th St. S., said Norman Scott, Fargo fire marshal.

The cause of the fire was listed as a halogen floodlight igniting combustibles.

Kenville said he tried calling the fire department when he saw the flames but was too flustered.

A passer-by called for help, he said.

"I opened the door when I came out and the fire was just all over," said Kenville, who has lived in the home since 1971.

Matt Kenville of West Fargo, Aldamer Kenville's son, said his mother-in-law, who works at Fraser Ltd., less than a block from the home, told him his dad's house was on fire.

"I just freaked out," he said. "I just wanted to make sure my dad was OK."

After making sure his dad was fine, Matt Kenville started worrying about some of the irreplaceable belongings in the home.

His mom died in 2005, and her ashes are in an urn in the home along with family photos, a collection of about a million baseball cards, and a family heirloom china cabinet that's more than 100 years old, he said.

"We're hoping the house is salvageable in some way," Matt Kenville said. "Hopefully (damage) is contained mostly to the garage."

The garage and house suffered moderate fire damage and extensive smoke damage, according to Assistant Fire Chief Larry Schuh.

Aldamer Kenville is staying with relatives.

His family is setting up a fundraiser for their father at United Savings Credit Union, which has Fargo locations at 220 10th St. N. and 2401 45th St. S.

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