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Three people escape mobile home blaze in Glyndon

GLYNDON - Three people escaped without injury after a mobile home caught fire in Glyndon this morning.

Firefighters were called to a blaze in Glyndon's Prairieview Estates Mobile Home Park at 9:47 a.m.

Cecilia Emerson, 72, who lives in the singlewide mobile home with her granddaughter Mandy Hennigar, said Hennigar and her friend Sarah Spear discovered the fire and told her to get out of the house.

"I didn't know what to do," said Emerson, who has emphysema and asthma and uses an oxygen tank that was left inside the burning home. "I was scared to death. I just grabbed her coat and mine and went outside."

Spear said she saw flames around the water heater, and it appeared that's where the fire started. An official cause has yet to be determined, Glyndon Fire Chief Bob Cuchna said.

Work on the home's heating system had just finished last week, Spears and Emerson said.

Cuchna said the home will likely be totaled. The back bedroom sustained significant damage, while the living room and kitchen weren't heavily damaged, he said.

"Hopefully we can salvage some of their Christmas belongings, but everything in their back bedroom is going to be gone," he said.

Firefighters battled the blaze in below-zero temperatures with wind chills of around 20 below.

Such fires are common at this time of year, Cuchna said through his ice-crusted mustache.

"It never fails. It's cold, it's Christmastime, and unfortunately things like this end up happening," he said.

The area where Emerson's oxygen tank was left didn't get hot enough to cause any problems with the cylinder of compressed gas, Cuchna said.

The Red Cross, Salvation Army and F-M Ambulance assisted the fire victims at the scene.

Emerson said they would find someplace to stay temporarily, possibly at her daughter's home in Fargo. Her long-term plans were more uncertain.

"We'll figure something out tonight for a while, but I don't know what I'm going to do," she said.