Residents safe, pets rescued from morning duplex fire

NEW ULM – The New Ulm Fire Department was able to extinguish an early Friday morning duplex fire at 501 S. Franklin St. with no injuries.

Additionally, firefighters rescued two pets, a cat and a dog, seemingly without injury, from the smoke.

The fire was called in by Jared Spaeth, who was awoken from sleep in the second floor apartment sometime before 8 a.m. He was the only renter in the house at the time. Using his experience from previously serving on a fire department in another town, he determined the fire was occurring in the basement. He kicked open the first floor apartment door in an attempt to rescue that renter’s dog, but was unable to locate it due to the intensity of the smoke.

Luckily, both the dog from the first level and the cat from the second level apartment were rescued without apparent injury.

The other resident of the second floor and the occupant of the first floor apartment were outside the house at work during the fire. All three are being provided assistance and housing by the American Red Cross.

NUFD chief Paul Macho said the fire definitely originated in the basement, though the cause is still being investigated. He said the two apartments sustained smoke damage, but it appears the flames did not escape the largely unoccupied basement.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.

Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at

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