Father, daughter perish in house fire east of city

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Posted: Friday, April 17, 2020 6:01 am

A 35-year-old rural Hillsboro man and his 23-month-old daughter died in a house fire Thursday, April 9 east of the city.

Traill County Sheriff Steve Hunt on Tuesday issued a release identifying the victims as Adam Gettel and his daughter, Anja.

A Traill County sheriff’s deputy spotted the blaze in the early morning hours April 9 roughly 3.5 miles east of Hillsboro along County Road 11.

Investigators spent a day sifting through the site of the fire before recovering the bodies of the victims, which were sent to the medical examiner’s office in Grand Forks for autopsies.

Hunt said that authorities and a State Fire Marshall still have not pinpointed the origin of the fire.

“There wasn’t enough left of the house to determine where it started,” he said. “There’s a possibility the cause may never be determined.”

The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted at the scene but Hunt attempted to quell speculation that the fire was suspicious in nature. “We asked for their assistance because it was a labor-intensive investigation and we needed all the help we could get,” he said.

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