Crews battled in bitter conditions Monday
No one was injured as fire claimed a Scandia home Monday afternoon.
Scandia Fire and Rescue took a call at 2:08 p.m. reporting a blaze at 19015 Layton Ave. N., on the west shoreline of Big Marine Lake. Firefighters made contact by cell phone with a resident and learned the house was unoccupied. Upon arrival, they found the front corner of the roof had collapsed and fire was spreading through the second floor and out windows. A power line had fallen in front of the house after burning off its connection. Workers from Xcel Energy cut off power to the live line.
The Scandia department brought two engines and two tankers. Because it was a daytime response requiring extra manpower, a crew from Forest Lake Fire Department arrived with two tankers and another tanker came from Marine on St. Croix. Lakeview Ambulance was on standby.
Temperatures around 10 below zero presented challenges.
“It was tough,” Scandia Fire Chief Mike Hinz said. “We had to make sure we kept water flowing out of the hoses at all times or it’d freeze up. We had to keep switching up gloves or they’d freeze rock solid.”
Crews fought the fire until about 5 p.m. Some of the structure remains standing, but Hinz said the house is a total loss. Firefighters were able to protect a shed in the yard, a vehicle in the driveway and a neighboring property in close proximity.
Hinz will file the cause as unknown. The collapse of the roof hurt the chances of determining a cause, he said. The state fire marshal will not be called for it because arson is not suspected and there were no injuries.
County property records list Laurie Waterman as the house’s owner.