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Published May 11, 2009, 07:21 PM

Crews act quickly to put out 8 farm building fires

Cuyuga, ND (WDAY TV) - Normally quiet fire departments act quickly to put out eight farm building fires in south eastern North Dakota and law enforcement say it's because of arson. WDAY 6 Reporter Stephanie Goetz tells us why the Sargent County Sheriff says this was no accident. There's little if anything left of these old, vacant farmsteads that turned into ash and rubble in just two hours. Decades old farm homes still smolder as they lay as piles of soot. All from what law enforcement are calling an intentional blaze.

By: Stephanie Goetz, WDAY

Cuyuga, ND (WDAY TV) - Normally quiet fire departments act quickly to put out eight farm building fires in south eastern North Dakota and law enforcement say it's because of arson.

WDAY 6 Reporter Stephanie Goetz tells us why the Sargent County Sheriff says this was no accident.

There's little if anything left of these old, vacant farmsteads that turned into ash and rubble in just two hours. Decades old farm homes still smolder as they lay as piles of soot. All from what law enforcement are calling an intentional blaze.

Travis Paeper/Sargent County Sheriff: “There was no electricity to any of the buildings, so it was set from some alternate source.”

Eight buildings on five different farmsteads near Cayuga, North Dakota burned to the ground. Sargent County Sheriff Travis Paeper says the calls came in from 1:30 to 2:00 Sunday afternoon.

“Within a half hour, forty-five minutes, Sheriff's Department and our local Fire Departments responded to four different structure fires within a four mile radius.”

Each location had one to four buildings burn down. On the way to put out one of the fires, crews stopped to put a fifth farmstead fire out. Paeper says they think the fires were set by the same group of people.

“Pretty much we were chasing someone in a circle yesterday.”

Each one of these buildings carries a felony penalty 40 years in jail and/or a 40-thousand dollar fine for whoever is charged. Paeper says no arrests have been made and so far they don't have any suspects. He says whoever is arrested could also face "endangering by fire" charges as well, that's a felony.

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