UPDATED – House fire at Ruckle causes major damage

Fire crews responded quickly to a house fire out at the Ruckle area in South Grand Forks early Tuesday morning.

Firefighters check on the damage caused by a fire at a house in the Ruckle area on Tuesday morning.

Fire crews responded quickly to a house fire on Como Street in the South Ruckle area in Grand Forks early Tuesday morning.

“We got called about 4:15 a.m. Tuesday morning,” said fire chief Dale Heriot. “When we arrived we fought that the structure was fully involved with fire. We evacuated the residents on either side of the structure.”

Heriot said there were three fire engines on scene and 27 firefighters on hand.

“We had to do a defensive fire attack because the structure was too involved to go into the interior,” he said. “Our first job was to protect the exposures, which were the two houses on either side. Other than some minor damage we did okay at that.”

Heriot said there was no one in the house at the time as the resident was outside at the time of the fire. There were no injuries were reported. Heriot added that the fire is still under investigation at this time.

“The fire is still under investigation and it’s undetermined what the cause of the fire was,” he said.

Heriot said crews took about 45 minutes to knock the fire down and then went into mop-up mode, which took another few hours.

“Much of the house was a total loss,” he said. “The roof an everything collapsed so there was a lot of smoldering rubble. That fire took quite a while.”

A neighbour, Bujor Tanasescu, praised the quick work of the fire department in stopping the blaze and keeping it from spreading to nearby houses.

“Our firefighters are my heroes,” he said.