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Published February 27, 2011, 11:25 AM

Fire destroys home of longtime ND sheriff's deputy

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Fire destroyed the home of a longtime North Dakota sheriff's deputy who recently had a pistol stolen from the home. Authorities say Sgt. DuWayne Nitschke's house was engulfed in flames Saturday by the time firefighters arrived at his rural Argusville home. Nitschke works for the Cass County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities say Sgt. DuWayne Nitschke's house was engulfed in flames Saturday by the time firefighters arrived at his rural Argusville home. Nitschke works for the Cass County Sheriff's Department.

Nobody was home at the time of the blaze, but the family's pet dog was killed.

Police haven't determined a cause or whether foul play was involved.

The Forum reports that a man charged in the Feb. 10 armed robbery of a Stop-N-Go store in Moorhead, Minn., is suspected by Moorhead police of stealing a .38-caliber pistol owned by Nitschke.

Nitschke and Cass County Chief Deputy Jim Thoreson say they didn't believe the fire and the stolen pistol case were connected.

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