GARRISON - A rural Brainerd man was credited Friday by Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl for his heroic actions in alerting people of a fast-moving fire that destroyed the home.
Marvin Schmaltz was a passerby who noticed the fire early Friday morning and knocked on doors alerting the home's 12 occupants.
"This fire almost certainly would have resulted in several tragic deaths if it were not for Schmaltz's quick thinking and heroic actions," he said.
Eric Stevens, 27, a temporary renter at the home, said there were 10 adults and two children at the home overnight.
Garrison Fire Department Chief Bruce Breun said all of the people in the home left without suffering any injuries. Breun said the structure, on Highway 18, just west of Crooked Lake Road, was a total loss. The fire chief said the cause of the fire had not yet been determined but he confirmed that a bonfire had been started Thursday night.
Smoke billowed Friday out of the home of Danny Bordwell of rural Deerwood as a firefighter doused the flames. No one was injured in the blaze that was extinguished by Garrison and Brainerd fire departments. Brainerd Dispatch/Mike O'Rourke
» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Danny Bordwell, the owner of the home he has as a rental, said four adults and two children live there. Friends, he said, had gathered for a bonfire Thursday night. Bordwell said water was used to douse the fire that night.
Bordwell said Schmaltz saw smoke as he was driving by and drove in to make sure everyone was alerted to the fire. Stevens said at about that same time he woke up seeing flames on the wall outside of his west bedroom.
The Garrison Fire Department was assisted by four Brainerd Fire Department trucks, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center Ambulance and the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.