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Space heater blamed in Moorhead fire

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A space heater is believed to be the cause of a Moorhead mobile home fire Monday that destroyed a woman's home.

The Moorhead Fire Department responded to calls of smoke detectors going off in a mobile home at 1225 15th Ave. N. about 3:30 p.m. Monday.

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Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the small fire in the back of the house, said Assistant Moorhead Fire Chief Greg Doeden.

The homeowner was able to get out before fire crews arrived, but as of press time, not all of her cats had been accounted for.

Two cats were retrieved by firefighters at the time of the fire. A total of nine had been found and returned by late Monday night, but the homeowner said she had more than a dozen cats at the home, many of which were kittens.

One person suffered mild smoke inhalation, but no one was transported to the hospital.

The cause of the fire was an electric space heater that came into contact with combustibles, which were most likely the fabric curtains.

"We have fires every year from space heaters," Doeden said. "A word to the wise is to be careful with those."

Fire and heat damage was confined to a bedroom on the north end of the home, Doeden said. But the heavy smoke damage throughout the rest of the home left the structure uninhabitable.

The Salvation Army was on site to assist the fire victims with housing needs.

Fire officials asked homeowners to remember to keep combustible items away from space heaters, which should never be left unattended or used as the home's main source of heat.

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