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One killed, one injured in Valley City house fire

VALLEY CITY -- A husband was killed and his wife was injured Sunday in an early morning house fire here. Valley City Fire Chief Gary Retterath said the fire was reported at 2:50 a.m. at a single-family, two-story home on the 200 block of Sixth St...

VALLEY CITY -- A husband was killed and his wife was injured Sunday in an early morning house fire here.

Valley City Fire Chief Gary Retterath said the fire was reported at 2:50 a.m. at a single-family, two-story home on the 200 block of Sixth Street Northwest.

First responders found a male occupant dead in the basement, according to Retterath, while a woman who lived in the house was able to get out and knock on neighbors' doors until someone answered and called to report the fire.

Based on preliminary investigation, Retterath said it appears the fire started in the basement and the man most likely went downstairs to check on it but didn't make it out.

Authorities haven't yet identified the victims, but Retterath said they were a retired husband and wife who have been in the community for many years. No pets lived there and no other buildings were damaged, he said.

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The woman was taken to Mercy Hospital in Valley City and said to be in fair condition Sunday afternoon. Retterath said she likely would stay in the hospital until today at the earliest.

The house was heavily damaged beyond repair by the blaze, which started in the basement and went into the attic and "burned much of the roof off," he said. Retterath and a deputy state fire marshal will further investigate the home today to look into possible causes.

Fire crews had the blaze under control and cleared the scene by the early afternoon on Sunday.

Ryan Johnson is the Features Editor for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Since joining The Forum's staff in 2012, he has also reported on several beats, including higher education, business and features. Readers can reach him at 218-791-9610 or rmjohnson@forumcomm.com
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