When Brock Ballweber learned of a fire at his family's home, he immediately thought of their dog, Duke.
"My wife and my son and I are safe," he said. "We lost a family member. We lost our dog."
Their 2-year-old Rottweiler did not survive the fire Sunday evening at the family's home at 1941 N. Sixth St. in Bismarck. The Bismarck Fire Department reported the fire's cause as accidental and apparently started on the kitchen's stove top.
Battalion Chief Rob Carlson said fire damages were mainly contained to the kitchen with extensive smoke damage throughout the home. Fifteen firefighters responded. Firefighters remained at the scene until about 9:30 p.m., Ballweber said. The city reported no injuries from the fire.
The family was away unloading items at Kellye Ballweber's mother's home in town when a coworker messaged her. From there, they learned about smoke and firefighters at the house, Brock said. Police and the Rev. Greg Carr met the family at the scene, he said. Since then, it's been a whirlwind, with calls to insurance companies, cleaners and housing relocators, but much support from friends and family too.
"It's very humbling to have people reach out to you and be willing to help you," Brock Ballweber, 31, said. "Not only offering their help but going ahead and taking the initiative and doing something for you has been very humbling."
He added the sudden loss of Duke and of possessions is tough, but material items are replaceable.
"We understand that we're going to replace things," he said. "The sudden loss of appliances and furniture, that's not substantial in comparison."
The Ballwebers have been staying with family since the fire. They had lived at the home since 2013.
"My wife and I are just trying to take it day by day," Ballweber said. "The loss of things is replaceable."