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Georgetown man 'wrestled' from fire

A MeritCare LifeFlight helicopter takes off with burn victim Mike Trapp on Wednesday from Highway 75 just north of Georgetown. (Michael Vosburg/The Forum)1 / 2
Clay County sheriff Bill Bergquist surveys the scene of a fire Wednesday in Georgetown where he twice pulled a resident from his burning home. (Michael Vosburg/The Forum)2 / 2

GEORGETOWN, Minn., - A man is hospitalized in serious condition with severe burns after twice being pulled from his home here while trying to battle a fire Wednesday.

Mike Trapp was filling a kerosene heater around 2 p.m. when it spilled and a fire started at 604 Highway 75 N.

The 49-year-old tried to put the fire out with a garden hose when Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist arrived.

Bergquist physically removed Trapp from the home, which had smoke billowing out, and seated him on a pail to wait for an ambulance.

But Trapp wasn't done fighting.

As Bergquist turned away, Trapp got back up and headed toward a window.

"He got up, and I had to wrestle him out of that window," said Bergquist, who is also a Dilworth firefighter. "He wasn't mean about it; he just wanted to save his house."

It was evident Trapp had some severe burns, the sheriff added. Trapp was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to MeritCare Hospital in Fargo about 3 p.m. He was transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he was listed in serious condition this morning, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Trapp's wife was also home when the fire began and was taken by ambulance for observation.

She was coughing at the scene as she watched firefighters battle the blaze.

Fire departments from Moorhead and Dilworth knocked the fire down in about a half hour, Bergquist said.

Trapp's efforts may have helped contain the fire, Bergquist said, noting that sometimes it takes time to respond to the small town about 15 miles north of Moorhead.

Signs still indicated that Highway 75 was closed due to the flood fight, but several emergency vehicles bypassed the signs to respond to the fire. Had the roads been under water or impassable, the response would have taken more time, Bergquist said.

MeritCare did not release condition reports for the Trapps on Wednesday.

Moorhead Assistant Fire Chief Joe Gaughan said the home suffered extensive damage, but he couldn't say for sure if it would be a total loss.

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