PINE CENTER -- A man suffered minor injuries Thursday in a fire that destroyed his home in Platte Lake Township.
Dan Hoskins and three other family members initially escaped the fire without injury, but Hoskins suffered minor cuts and burns when he went back to the home to try to extinguish the fire, said Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Mahle. Hoskins was treated at the scene by North Ambulance.
The Brainerd Fire Department responded to the fire at 2:57 p.m. and assisted the Pierz Fire Department. The fire had consumed much of the house before either department arrived on the scene.
"The only thing left standing was one wall," said Mahle. "The house was a total loss."
Damage to the home, located in the 4000 block of 170th Avenue in southeast Crow Wing County, was an estimated $120,000.
Firefighters had the fire under control, confined to the basement foundation, in about an hour and remained on the scene for about one more hour for cleanup and to douse hot spots, Mahle said. Firefighters saved a shed located on Hoskins' property.
The cause has yet to be determined, said Mark Germain, deputy state fire marshal. Germain said witnesses to the incident said the fire was at the basement ceiling near the furnace, but his investigation had yet to determine that.
Germain said he hopes to return to the house Monday to excavate the site for clues to the fire's origin, but agreed that with the amount of damage the house sustained it will be difficult to pinpoint the cause.
"I would say that would be a fair statement," he said. "We'll look for the direction of fire travel, things that are burned and burn patterns to establish a point of origin."
One fortunate aspect was the lack of grass fires near the house, which Mahle attributed to the recent rains.
"The rains helped quite a bit," he said. "With everything as wet as it is, it helps with wildland fires. Right now it seems to be well in hand."
However, Mahle added that the recent high winds could change that and dry out the landscape.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.