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Homeowner thankful for community support after fire destroys house

Fire destroyed a two-story home Tuesday, Feb. 15, in Ypsilanti, N.D.

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A pile of rubble remains Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, after a fire destroyed the house of a Ypsilanti couple on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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YPSILANTI, N.D. – The owner of a house here that was destroyed by fire on Tuesday, Feb. 15, is thankful for the help he has received.

“I couldn’t be more grateful,” Lucas Brady said. “ … I’ve helped everybody else for years. All of a sudden it turns around and they are helping me out. I just can’t say thank you enough to everybody.”

Brady and his girlfriend, Christy Mickelson, are staying at a house about a block away from where their home was located in Ypsilanti.

“My neighbor had a vacant house that he was remodeling and going to rent out,” Brady said.

He said they have received clothes, pots and pans and many other items.

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“The community of Ypsilanti has been unbelievable,” he said. “It’s overwhelming how much stuff we got in the last two days.”

Brady and Mickelson were both at work in Jamestown when the fire started at the house located at 120 1st St. W in Ypsilanti. Brady said three cats died in the fire.

Firefighters from the Jamestown Rural Fire Department could not save the 1,500-square-foot home and worked to protect nearby houses. One home next door to the east sustained damage to siding from the heat.

ypsilanti house fire day after siding 021622.jpg
The vinyl siding on a neighboring house got warped from the heat of fire that destroyed a house Tuesday, Feb. 15, Ypsilanti, N.D.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

The state fire marshal inspected the site Wednesday, Feb. 16. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“Your house burnt down,” Brady said. “You just have to move on from here. There isn’t really much we can do about it.”

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A firefighter from the Jamestown Rural Fire Department sprays water on a house Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, in Ypsilanti.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

He said the house was one of the first two that was originally built in Ypsilanti. He said construction on the house began in 1901 and was completed in 1902.

Brady remodeled the house during the last 11 years. He said the inside included the "fanciest" woodwork, stained boards and coffered ceiling in the kitchen, and all the cabinets were redone.

“I had this thing immaculate on the inside and outside,” he said. “Everywhere you look there is a brand new house on the inside.”

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To make matters worse, he said he didn’t have homeowners insurance because an insurance company would not insure the house.

“They wouldn’t insure me because I have a fireplace,” he said. “They told me, 'yeah, you can pay us the money and everything but if anything happens and the house burns down, we aren’t going to pay you a thing because you have a fireplace.'”

A benefit account is set up at Gate City Bank. Mickelson’s brother, Cory, said in Facebook Messenger that Cash Wise, Jonny B’s Brickhouse, the Corner Bar, M&H Gas, R.M. Stoudt and Studio 40 are all set up to accept monetary donations for Brady and Mickelson.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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