NISSWA — A homeowner appeared distraught Tuesday as he watched his walk-out home on Upper Roy Lake Road, just north of Nisswa, be destroyed by fire.
When Nisswa firefighters arrived on scene, the home located at 3696 Upper Roy Lake Road was fully engulfed in flames and smoke, said Nisswa Assistant Fire Chief Tim Holmes.
The fire was called in at 3:01 p.m. by a passer-by.
Holmes said no one was inside the home at the time of the fire. The home is owned by Mark Jenni but he doesn’t live there. The home is on the market for sale. Holmes said Jenni was working on the yard when he left for a short period of time. When he returned the home was on fire.
“We’re still trying to determine the cause of the fire,” said Holmes. “We’re not sure where it started and the state fire marshal has been called in to investigate.”
Jenni’s neighbor, Judy Kayala, watched as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames. Kayala works nights so she was sleeping prior to the fire. She said she first heard her dogs barking and then sirens before she walked down her driveway and saw the fire. Kayala said she had never seen a fire like that before.
“It was totally engulfed before (the firefighters) got there,” said Kayala, who said she didn’t personally know Jenni. “It’s scary. It had such horrible black smoke and I could hear the fire crackling ... I feel sorry for him (Jenni). It was a very nice home.”
Fighting the fire were 14 firefighters from Nisswa, 10 from Pequot Lakes and four from Ideal Township. North Memorial Ambulance and the Nisswa and Lake Shore police departments assisted on scene.
“Everyone worked well together,” said Holmes on extinguishing the fire. “Under the circumstances, we knocked down the fire quickly.”