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Neighbor helps couple escape Belle River fire

The fire seemed concentrated on the north side of the house. A truck and a four-wheeler parked in the driveway also caught fire. (Annie Harman/Echo Press)1 / 2
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At 11:42 p.m. Tuesday night, multiple 911 calls came in for a house that was fully engulfed in flames near Carlos in Belle River Township at 10780 County Road 30 NE. The home belonged to Richard and Denise Klein, who were home at the time of the incident.

The Kleins said they were awakened by a smoke detector and their neighbor, Peter Woit, banging on the side of the house near their bedroom. The house had filled with smoke, but with the assistance of Woit, they were able to make it outside.

“In my eyes, Peter is a hero” said the Kleins’ son, Master Sergeant Kyle Klein, who is currently stationed in South Korea with the United States Air Force. “Without him, I think it could have been a completely different story.”

The couple and Woit were transported to Douglas County Hospital for smoke inhalation. As of Wednesday afternoon, Denise and Woit were discharged from the hospital. Richard was admitted under good condition.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but preliminary information indicates a small electric heater may have been a contributing factor.

A vehicle and a four wheeler in the driveway on the north end of the house were also on fire upon arrival of the fire department.

Carlos Fire Department, Miltona Fire Department, and North Ambulance of Alexandria responded to the fire. The West Central Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross also provided assistance.

Annie Harman
Annie Harman is a reporter for Echo Press and The Osakis Review. She grew up in Detroit Lakes and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a degree in print journalism and history in May 2012. Follow her on Twitter at annieharman
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