AUBURN – A house fire on Xivray Street Friday morning could have been the kind of tragedy that ruins somebody’s Christmas.

Not this time, though. Firefighters knocked down flames in a basement before fire could spread far beyond the trash container in which it started.

Nobody hurt, property damage minimal.

Homeowner Jack Rametta was able to flee with his dog when smoke began to fill the home, which sits between Center and Turner streets.

Fire crews were there moments later. Minutes after that, the fire was knocked down, limiting damage to the stink of smoke and some soggy fixtures.

Fire investigators suspect improper disposal of smoking materials started the blaze. However, it was still being investigated Friday night.

An Auburn fire official said Rametta will be able to return to his home once the smoke is cleared out and the house is deoderized. That was expected to happen early Saturday or possibly late Friday.

Before Christmas, in any event.

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