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Fire starts in front porch, quickly spreads through Nisswa home

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Area fire crews were called Monday morning, March 24, to fight a blaze at the home of John and Cathy Taylor on Gull Lake Drive in Nisswa.

The Nisswa Fire Department responded at 8:08 a.m. to find the Taylor home ablaze.

John Taylor was home when the fire started. He evacuated the home along with the family dogs before firefighters arrived. There were no injuries.

Nisswa called for mutual aid to face the blaze. Departments from Brainerd, Pequot Lakes, Ideal Township, Crosslake and Deerwood joined in the fight. Deerwood brought a portable air trailer to fill SCBA bottles with air. This meant that fire crews could refill air tanks without leaving the scene.

Nisswa Fire Chief Richard Geike said the fire started through a cooking incident. Taylor was cooking and threw a hot rag out the front door. That appears to have been the source of the fire.

Geike said the home was of older construction and the fire spread quickly from the front porch, up the front steps and into the second story. Fire crews were forced to attack the fire from the outside.

“One thing that gave us a problem was that the floor burned out at the top of the steps. In order to get at the upstairs we had to enter the upstairs through an outside window rather than trying to go up the steps. That made it a little harder,” Geike said.

Fire crews didn’t leave the scene until 1 p.m., and they returned throughout the day to check for reignition. Geike offered his appreciation for the departments that responded for mutual aid.

“Those guys are great. The mutual aid we have in this town is unbelievable. That’s what keeps us going the way it is, the cooperation between departments. If it wasn’t for mutual aid, this stuff wouldn’t get done the way it’s done,” Geike said.

Taylor is the proprietor of Taylor Accounting, which he operates out of his home. Though Taylor’s home is considered a total loss, the fire crews were able to rescue the tax documents he kept in his home.

Travis Grimler can be reached at Follow him at and on Twitter @PEJ_Travis.