Couple's fight, arson suspected in blaze at Brooklyn Center duplex

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Investigators suspect arson in a blaze that took firefighters four hours to douse at a now-gutted two-story Brooklyn Center duplex Wednesday morning. Investigators are looking into whether a couple's fight may have led to the fire.

A man at the duplex told firefighters that there had been "a dispute," and then a woman came downstairs and told him the house was on fire, Brooklyn Center Fire Chief Lee Gatlin told MPR News.

A total of six occupants escaped the blaze with no injuries, the Star Tribune reported, although one woman was taken to a hospital because she was intoxicated.

KARE 11 reports that rescuers pulled one dog from the structure with burns and took it to the vet, although other sources said one dog died and another escaped without injury.

Firefighters battled the blaze from about 2:30 a.m. until 6:30 a.m., local media reported. FOX 9 has more photos of the scene.

In other news, firefighters were unable to save a woman in a house fire Tuesday night in Columbia Heights in the north metro. Three others escaped the blaze. Firefighters said they arrived and heard screams from inside the burning home and fought their way through flames to a back bedroom, where they found the woman unconscious, KSTP reported.

Firefighters had reached the 53-year-old woman "fairly quickly," Columbia Heights Assistant Fire Chief John Larkin told the Pioneer Press. "This is obviously a tragic incident," Larkin told the newspaper.

The woman was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where she died Wednesday morning, KSTP reported.

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