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Homeowner comes home from work to smoky house

FORT RIPLEY - When Kathy Gangestad of Fort Ripley got home from work Thursday her overhead garage door wouldn't open. Gangestad got out of her vehicle, went through the side garage door and saw her house was full of smoke. "I saw the smoke and it...

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Little Falls firefighters respond to a fire call Thursday on Lawson Road in Fort Ripley. Firefighters carried the dryer, which was smoking, out of the house. (Brainerd Dispatch, Jennifer Stockinger)

FORT RIPLEY - When Kathy Gangestad of Fort Ripley got home from work Thursday her overhead garage door wouldn't open.

Gangestad got out of her vehicle, went through the side garage door and saw her house was full of smoke.

"I saw the smoke and it stunk so bad," Gangestad said. "I couldn't breathe so I got out and called the fire department."

She called 911 at 2:55 p.m. to report the smoke on the 1800 block of Lawson Road in Fort Ripley. The Little Falls Fire Department responded with two fire trucks and the fire chief truck. Sixteen firefighters were on scene and/or manning the fire hall.

As the Gangestads watched the firefighters work, they saw them carry out their smoking dryer.

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Little Falls Fire Chief Mike Niemann said the fire was inside the dryer. Niemann said there were no flames, it was all smoke. He said the inside of the house did sustain smoke damage.

"They are lucky," Niemann said. The fire chief said it could have been much worse if Kathy Gangestad didn't come home from work at the time she did.

Gangestad, who works in Brainerd, said she called her husband, Dudley, who was working in Brainerd at the time of the fire. Gangestad said she has three dogs and they were all safe, as they were in an outdoor kennel.

The Gangestads have lived at their home in Fort Ripley for 19 years.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota State Patrol assisted at the scene.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5851. Follow me at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl on Twitter.

Related Topics: FORT RIPLEY
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