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Apartment fire ruled accidental

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A late-night Tuesday fire in a Mitchell apartment has been deemed accidental, authorities said.

The Mitchell Fire Division released Wednesday that an apartment at 1700 N. Wisconsin St., occupied by Jeremy and Jessica Jacobson and their two children, sustained heavy fire and smoke damage. The fire was caused by a table lamp that was left on and put in a plastic storage drawer, which then overheated.

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The Mitchell Fire Division responded to the fire at 11:18 p.m. Assistant Fire Chief Paul Morris said crews were on scene until 1 a.m. Morris, Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg and Fire Investigator Joel Reinesch stayed on scene until 2:30 a.m. investigating the fire.

“The fire was completely knocked down, but we kept an eye on it until we left the scene,” Morris said.

Reinesch interviewed family members and helped Morris and Overweg investigate the scene for a cause of the fire.

Jessica and the children were home at the time, but Jeremy was not.

According to a press release from the division and fire investigator interviews with family, a table lamp was left on and put inside a plastic storage drawer in one of the children’s bedrooms. The heat buildup in the container ignited a fire, which the division has declared accidental. When asked to elaborate why the lamp was put inside a plastic storage drawer, Morris declined.

Jessica Jacobson and her children heard a smoke detector in the hallway going off and were able to leave the apartment safely. However, the family’s puppy suffered substantial smoke inhalation injury and is being treated at Lakeview Veterinary Clinic in Mitchell.

“The smoke detector activation was instrumental in alerting the residents to the danger at the home in time to evacuate the family in a timely manner without injury,” Morris said. “We’re constantly pushing smoke detectors. They work, providing they have working batteries in them. This time it worked and it worked well.”

The family is being assisted by the American Red Cross with lodging and essential items as the apartment is unsafe for occupation. The Mitchell Police Division and Davison County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the fire.

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