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Family gets off lake to find living quarters on fire

When a Crosslake family came in from boating Friday night, June 24, they found their garage with living quarters was full of smoke.

The Crosslake Fire Department was called at 10 p.m. to a structure fire on the 36000 block of Pine Bay Drive in Crosslake.

Crosslake Assistant Fire Chief Neil Luzar said when firefighters arrived on scene the detached garage was full of smoke and they sent in a three-man team for entry. Luzar said the fire crew found the fire and extinguished it quickly.

Firefighters from Pequot Lakes, Fifty Lakes, Mission and Ideal were called in for mutual aid, but Crosslake fire canceled Pequot Lakes and Ideal once they knew they were able to handle the garage fire on their own.

There were no visible flames when firefighters were on scene, but there was heavy smoke damage to the 25-foot by 30-foot garage that consisted of a loft with a bunk, kitchen area and living quarters. Luzar said the structure was newly built and was tight, so the flames may have burnt out on their own. The damage was limited to a wall and the ceiling.

The home was not in any fire danger as it was located about 3 yards away from the garage.

Luzar said the fire originated in the main garage portion and it appears the fire was caused by charging equipment. However, the cause remains under investigation.

Luzar said when the parents and their children came to shore they noticed the smoke, and they went in to rescue their dogs. He said the dogs were brought outside to safety. One of the dogs went to the veterinarian to be checked out. Luzar said the daughter inhaled smoke, but refused medical treatment.

Luzar said if the family hadn't come home when they did, the entire garage could have easily burned down. He said the way the property is situated, the neighbors wouldn't have noticed the fire until they saw flames.

"It's really good they came home when they did," Luzar said. "They're lucky."

There were about 18 Crosslake firefighters on scene, with a total of around 25 firefighters assisting for about 2 ½ hours.

The firefighters were assisted by North Memorial Ambulance, Crosslake Police Department and the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office.