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Family unharmed after house fire in Verndale Thursday

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On Thursday, March 8 around 10:30 p.m., the Verndale Fire Department was called to a house fire at 310 S. Farwell St. in Verndale.

The house was a rental home to a family of eight, according to Verndale Police Chief Cory Carr.

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By the time firefighters arrived, at least one of the rooms was already engulfed in flames which quickly spread into the walls and up into the attic.

No one was at home when the fire started in the laundry room area.

The Wadena Fire Department was called to assist in fighting the fire. The house is believed to be a total loss. The family stayed at a friend's house for the night. It believed the fire was started from the drier.

North Star Chapter disaster volunteer Terry Sluss assisted eight people, including six children aged five to 11 years, following the fire in a rental home on Thursday in Verndale, located in Wadena County.

"The clients told me that as they were returning home, they saw smoke and called 9-1-1," said Sluss, who lives in Brainerd. "They were very thankful that their six children were not in the home during the fire." The family is staying with relatives while they look for a new residence. Sluss met with the clients to assess their disaster-related needs and provided Red Cross assistance for clothing and food.

Red Cross disaster relief includes emergency lodging, food, clothing, medicine, and medical supplies, health services and mental health counseling. Relief is typically provided in the form of Client Assistance Cards for use in local businesses, designed to both encourage clients to participate in their own recovery and support local economic growth.

"Some of the things people can do to prevent disasters like this are to make sure that they have smoke detectors in each sleeping area, to clean dryer venting regularly, and to take special care with candles and smoking materials," said North Star Chapter Community Coordinator Lynn Arlt.

The Verndale Fire Department, Wadena Fire Department, Wadena County Sheriff's Office and Verndale Police Department responded to the scene.

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