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A fire destroyed a home in Midwest late Sunday night, an apparent result of an unattended candle tipping over. No people were injured in the blaze but two dogs likely died. An SUV was also destroyed.

The fire began in a single-story house on Watson Street just before 9 p.m., according to a Natrona County Sheriff’s Office report. The married couple that lived in the house told investigators that they had been watching football in the living room when they noticed a fire in the bedroom.

One of the two homeowners said he went into the bedroom and poured water on flames started by a tipped-over candle, according to the report. The fire spread to the bed and he tried to pull the mattress from the bedroom, when the flames spread out of control.

The couple’s two dogs likely did not escape the burning house, said Fire Marshall Brian Oliver, who is investigating the fire. However, authorities did not find the animals’ bodies. The house was declared a total loss due to a partial collapse of the roof, Oliver said.

The family had lived in the house for more than 20 years, Oliver said. Their SUV, which was parked near the house, was also destroyed by the fire.

The fire was declared out by midnight, but rekindled by the wind. Emergency crews returned just before 5 a.m. Monday and the fire was extinguished again around 7:30 a.m.

The American Red Cross was working to find housing for the family on Sunday night, according to the report. A spokeswoman for the Red Cross on Tuesday confirmed that the organization was working with the family but did not have specific details immediately available regarding the couple’s housing situation.

Oliver said the family had been put up in a hotel following the fire.

The Midwest Police Department, the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office, the Natrona County Fire Protection District and Salt Creek Emergency Services all responded to the fire, Oliver said.

Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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