Unattended candle likely cause of Christmas Day fire in Rice

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

Responding to a fire at 6:20 p.m. Christmas Day, Rice and Royalton firefighters extinguished a fire which destroyed a double-wide modular home at 1528 125th Street N.E. in Rice. The home was owned by Donald and Karol Weyer, who were not home at the time. The couple’s two dogs perished in the fire.

“A passerby called in the fire, and 20 Rice firefighters were there until 10:30 p.m.,” said Rice Fire Chief Scott Janski. “We are pretty sure the fire was caused by an unattended candle.”

The Royalton Fire Department responded with 15 firefighters, who took a pumper truck and a tanker truck.

“It was pretty well engulfed when we got there,” said Royalton Chief Duane Bursey.

The Weyers are staying with relatives.