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Unwatched log sparked Christmas house fire in Fargo

FARGO -- A Christmas Day fire that caused about $60,000 worth of damage to a south Fargo home started when a burning log fell out of an unattended fireplace, investigators believe.

The fire began shortly before 2 p.m. when the two residents of 1422 13th Ave. S. were out of the house.

A screen was around the fireplace, but it was old and warped, said Capt. John Arens, a fire inspector. The log ignited the hardwood floor in the living room and fell to the basement ceiling after being stoked by a nearby fan, Arens said.

Larry Schuh, an assistant fire chief, said it's important to keep an eye on fire hazards such as fireplaces and even clothes dryers.

"You can't leave that stuff unattended," he said.