By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Maple Grove fire officials say a family is safe, but displaced, after a house fire early Saturday morning.

According to fire officials, the fire began around midnight at a residence on Hemlock Lane and quickly spread. The family was able to get out safely, but their pets didn’t survive.

Maple Grove fire says the house suffered extensive damage and is no longer safe to live in. It took fire crews two hours to get the fire under control.

The fire is under investigation, but it does not appear to be suspicious, according to fire officials. The Red Cross is assisting the family.

This fire woke the Dugger family up from their sleep just after midnight. Four kids, all under the age of 12, and the parents managed to get out in time. The family’s six pets — two dogs, two cats and two bunnies — were not able to get out.

“You’re in a state of shock when this happens,” said Kevin Dugger.

He says when they all evacuated their home in the middle of the night, neighbors who they’ve never met before met them in the street to give money and help out.

“It really has been overwhelming to know that people who don’t even know you are there for you,” said Dugger, “To have a complete stranger give us a gift card and just to have friends and family telling us we’re here for you has been amazing and then for the red cross to come out in the middle of the night.”

The MN Red Cross helped set up the Duggers with the essentials: food, clothing, and a place to temporarily stay.

“It’s the silver lining in this, especially after losing our animals, who were definitely part of our family,” said Dugger.

While the family is mourning the loss of their pets, they’re reminded how much support they have carrying them through this loss.

“Definitely you find out what’s important in life during these times,” said Dugger, “especially in 2020, to be reminded that humanity still exists.”

Marielle Mohs