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Fire destroys two homes in Becker County

A Pine Point tribal home and a rural Richwood residence were lost as a result of two fires this week.

Carsonville firefighters responded to a chimney fire north of Ponsford in Pine Point Township early Wednesday morning and were battling the blaze for more than two hours.

The home, which is owned by the White Earth Reservation, was a total loss, Carsonville Fire Chief Roger Wilson said.

Sandra Basswood and her two teenage children are now displaced as a result of the fire. She had been a tenant there for more than 16 years.

Her sister, Brenda Basswood, said the children lost all of their belongings, from new clothes and school supplies, to furniture and electronics.

"Thank God they didn't lose their life, but they lost everything they had," she said.

Sandra Basswood is a mother of four who's now staying with her oldest son until she can rent another house from the tribe, she said.

"But I still need furniture and a bed..." she said. "No bed to sleep on, no couches or nothing."

The fire that started in the chimney awoke Basswood and her daughter around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday.

"The youngest daughter woke up to flames coming through the bedroom wall," Brenda Basswood said.

The family attempted to extinguish the fire but was unsuccessful and finally called for help.

Wilson said whatever wasn't burned in the blaze was damaged by smoke and water.

As the weather starts to get colder, residents should take extra precautions when starting fires, he added.

"They just need to be sure and check their chimneys to make sure they're clean and working properly," Wilson said. "This time of year when we get a cold snap, that's when you see chimney fires."

A rural Richwood home located south of Mary Yellowhead Road was also considered a total loss in a Thursday afternoon fire.

White Earth, Callaway and Ogema firefighters responded to the call around 3:15 p.m. east of Richwood on Fish Lake.

White Earth Fire Chief Kenneth "Gus" Bevins said he believes the fire may have been caused by a wood stove, but the department is still investigating the case.

"By the time any fire department got there it was pretty much gone," he said.

The owner of the home also lost a four-wheeler and a truck in the fire, but no one was injured. Bevins said the State Fire Marshal's Office will also be investigating the fire.