Fire crews put out house fire near hospital

A local family is displaced after a fire gutted their house on Monday afternoon.

Firefighters work to contain a blaze Monday at a house on 22nd Street near the hospital.

Firefighters work to contain a blaze Monday at a house on 22nd Street near the hospital.

A local family is displaced after a fire gutted their house on Monday afternoon.Fortunately, no one was in the house at the time of the fire. A neighbour rescued the family dog, while firefighters were able to shoo the two cats safely out of the smoke-filled house.Grand Forks Fire Rescue chief Dale Heriot said the fire started in the backyard patio and spread to the roof and the attic of the house.The cause of the fire is uncertain, but Heriot said it is not suspicious.“We got called at 4:24 p.m.,” he told the Gazette. “I was first on the scene. When I arrived I saw smoke coming from the rear of the home. When I got out and walked to the backyard, there was smoke and flame of the back porch area.”Heriot said his crew did a great job minimizing the fire and smoke damage to the house.  He estimated that the damage to the house was between $50,000 and $100,000.The homeowners were insured and are working with their insurance provider.Fire crews had to use chainsaws to cut holes in the roof to allow access to the attic and ventilate the house. “We cut a hole in the roof in two areas,” he said. “The rear of the house, the porch, the overhanging eve is burnt. The rear door and windows in the back are broken from the heat. Not too much flame got into the house. Some got into the one bathroom. Other than that, for most of the interior it was just smoke and water damage.”  There were 21 firefighters on scene as well as four engines, although only one was used, said Heriot.“Our guys did a fantastic job,” he said. “I thought our knockdown was very good. I thought we did a really good job of containing the fire to the area of origin. I think our guys did a great job in minimizing damage to the structure.”