Fire has claimed a rural Bismarck family’s mobile home and a pet. The Bismarck rural fire department says the cause of the blaze is unknown.

Friends, family and neighbors lined up Monday to help the family of Karl and Tracy Carson as they began digging through what could be salvaged and what needed to be thrown away.

Tracy Carson said she and her husband found their wedding rings and some of their daughter’s rodeo memorabilia from their home of 20 years. They had removed the rings so they could do yard work.

“Everything is gone. The house is gutted,” she said. “My daughter Emily (18) was Miss Teen North Dakota and the Miss High School Rodeo Queen. She lost all of her crowns, banners, clothes and buckles. We were able to find it, but I don’t know if it can be salvaged.

“It’s things, but it’s things she worked hard for. My son Austin (20) lost his racing memorabilia. He does some car racing,” Carson said.

The fire department responded to the fire at 1998 66th St., south of Bismarck, about 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

Rural Fire Department Lt. Casy Rogstad said the home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene.

“It was fully involved. It was coming out of the roof on the south side,” he said.

Tracy Carson said the master bedroom, dining room, a den and living room were destroyed.

“We don’t know what happened. We were all home. We went down to the shop. We were there for five minutes, came back and the house was engulfed in smoke and flames,” she said.

A family cat named “Poopsie” died in the fire, but rural firefighters were able to save another cat when they got in.

“We tried to get to the animals, but we couldn’t get to them. The smoke was just rolling. The 17-year-old cat survived. It went to the basement. The other cat didn’t,” Carson said. Two other cats were not inside the home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters contained the blaze about 9:30 p.m. Fire officials and Burleigh County Sheriff deputies remained at the scene until about 10:30 p.m., Carson said.

“The home is a total loss,” Rogstad said. An attached garage, however, appeared to be intact, he added. No other buildings on the property were damaged by the fire, he said.

Tracy Carson is not sure where her family will go from here. “We don’t have purses, IDs, wallets or debit cards. Everything burned.” she said.

However, people’s response has been some comfort.

“At 8 o’clock in the morning, people from Minot were here. People from everywhere were here to help us,” Carson said Monday. “The support has been fabulous.”

Rogstad said the rural fire department could not determine the cause of the fire in its investigation.

“We have turned the home over to the family. It’s up to the insurance company if they wish to investigate further,” he said. The state fire marshal will not be called in to help, Rogstad said.

The American Red Cross is assisting the family with food, clothing, shoes, lodging and medication.

Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or leann.eckroth@bismarcktribune.com.

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