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Published April 28, 2009, 07:45 AM

Blaze blamed on kerosene heater

A Mitchell man is without a home after a kerosene heater tipped over and set his topfloor apartment on fire Monday.
Robert Dieringer, 40, was moving the heater at his home at 424 1/2 W. Birch St. when the unit caught fire.

A Mitchell man is without a home after a kerosene heater tipped over and set his topfloor apartment on fire Monday.

Robert Dieringer, 40, was moving the heater at his home at 424 1/2 W. Birch St. when the unit caught fire.

According to Fire Marshal Steve Nedved, the apartment itself was totaled, though the ground-floor unit, which was not being rented, received little damage. Firefighters received the call at 12:37 p.m. and got the blaze under control quickly, Nedved said.

Dieringer was treated at the scene by Mitchell paramedics for second-degree burns but refused transport to Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. He declined to comment about the fire to The Daily Republic.

The Dakota Plains chapter of the American Red Cross was called in to provide food, shelter and clothing to Dieringer. He was temporarily relocated to a local motel.

“Since the family was not insured, recovery will be lengthy,” said Jackie Horton, Dakota Plains director.

Mitchell fire, ambulance and police also responded to the scene, and several streets were temporarily blocked off.

Homeowner Bill Morgan said Monday afternoon that he had not yet seen the damage and could not comment on the accident.

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