Brainerd and Nisswa firefighters fought back-to-back structure fires — with one home fully engulfed upon arrival — in the off and on pouring rain and thunderstorms Wednesday.
Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek said both structures were a total loss but no one was injured in either fire. The Nisswa Fire Department was called for mutual aid for both fires.
The first structure fire, at a 14 foot by 40 foot manufactured home, was reported at 3:15 p.m. to 18472 Johnson Road, north of Baxter.
“A neighbor called in the fire and it was possibly from a lightening strike,” said Stunek. “No one was home at the time. When we arrived there were flames at one end of the home and we were able to knock it down quickly.”
Stunek said there were 10 firefighters, a ladder truck, an engine and a tanker on scene. Stunek said there was an estimated $60,000 in damages and loss at the home.
The second structure fire was reported at 3:23 p.m. at the home of Doug Johnson at 5796 Brandon Way, located just south of Brainerd.
Brainerd Battalion Chief Bob Anderson said the home with attached garage was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. Anderson said the fire appeared to have started in the garage.
“It doesn’t appear to be suspicious,” said Anderson. “When we arrived, the homeowner was scrambling to get vehicles away from the home.”
Johnson — who watched firefighters extinguish the fire at his home and seeing most the roof gone — said he just arrived home when he saw smoke and he thought his neighbors were burning garbage, but then he realized it was his home.
Johnson tried to stay dry as he watched and when the rain started coming down harder, Stunek brought him a coat to help him dry.
Anderson said there were 16 firefighters on scene, three tankers and two engines. Anderson said there was an estimated $80,000 in damages/loss to the home.
Stunek said it was a great team effort between the Brainerd and Nisswa firefighters.
“They did a great job battling both structure fires,” Stunek said.