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Cause undetermined in Poplar Township house fire

Fire reported by neighbor, family is safe but house is complete loss.

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Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

The Pequot Lakes Fire Department responded to a house fire on the far reaches of its fire district just after 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 15.

"It was probably one of our furthest areas," said Fire Chief Tom Nelson. "Our coverage is about 24 miles out from our station, so I guess the distance traveled was our greatest complication."

The occupants of the home were not present when the fire broke out. Nelson said a neighbor saw the fire and called it in. By the time crews arrived on scene, the structure was completely on fire.

Fire departments from Motley and Pine River responded to the call for mutual aid. Approximately 20 firefighters were on scene. The fire was extinguished and the fire crews left around noon. The home was a complete loss, though the damaged attached garage remains standing.

"I did contact the state fire marshal for assistance in trying to determine the cause," Nelson said. "That's undetermined yet."

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Colder months can be times when fire risk increases. Nelson provided a few pieces of advice to avoid home fires while heating.

  • Have your chimney inspected by a professional chimney cleaner. They have scopes and tools that can detect hard-to-notice defects.
  • Make sure all heating appliances are UL approved and have tip-over shutoff switches.
  • Keep heating devices at least three feet away from anything flammable.
  • Have furnaces inspected to ensure they are operating correctly. This can also protect against carbon monoxide leaks.

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com.

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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