No one injured in Sunday blaze
A large house built six years ago near the shore of Forest Lake was lost to fire Sunday afternoon.
The Forest Lake Fire Department took a call to 21034 Karoline Court at 3:30 p.m. and spent three hours fighting the blaze. Though no one was injured, the fire proved too far along for firefighters to salvage the residence.
“There was just too much flame to put out,” Fire Chief Gary Sigfrinius said. “With the heavy wind, it got the best of us.”
Forest Lake brought its aerial truck and three engines, and called in mutual aid from the Wyoming, Linwood, Hugo and Chisago City departments. The caravan of water trucks was needed because that area, just north of Highway 97, does not have hydrants.
Embers from the blaze were blown by a strong southerly wind, forcing firefighters to address fires in the yard and on a neighboring property’s landscaping. A small piece of the house to the north caught on fire very briefly and was quickly extinguished.
The fire call came from a 17-year-old female who awoke to smoke inside the house, Sigfrinius said. The girl, who was the only occupant at the time of the fire, had fled the house with a dog and called 911.
Sigfrinius said that one-third of the structure was fully engulfed upon his department’s arrival.
The fire ignited on the south side of the house. The cause is under investigation.
County records show the house is owned by Brian Richert and had a 2013 value of more than $800,000.