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Neighbors, quick response by firefighters, save garage

Firefighters douse the back of a burning garage in a Park Rapids residential neighborhood Friday afternoon. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Neighbors rushed to a burning garage with fire extinguishers early Friday afternoon after they heard a loud bang on a residential avenue.

They reported seeing a male in a red shirt leaving the scene behind the Fourth Street West home near Fair Avenue.

One wall of the garage was extensively damaged.

Jason and Anna Hochstatter raced across the street when they saw smoke.

The area ignited behind the garage was a small enclosure that looked as if it was used for trash.

"I thought someone was burning outdoors and I thought it was a really bad idea on a day like today," Jason Hochstatter said. "I had my two little extinguishers and the flames had already crawled up to the roof."

Hochstatter even grabbed an extinguisher from a serviceman working in the area, he said.

Park Rapids firefighters were on the scene almost immediately and doused the burning wall.

Hochstatter said if they had not responded so quickly, the garage would have gone up in flames.

He said he called the homeowners. The house is a rental unit. The tenants weren't home at the time of the fire.

Most neighbors reported hearing a bang as if a large firecracker had gone off.

The fire is under investigation. Park Rapids police and Hubbard County deputies were also on the scene.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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