The victim of a fatal fire Wednesday afternoon in Crosslake has been identified as 82-year-old Max Hildreth Thames.
The fire, reported at 3:05 p.m., happened at Thames' residence on the 37000 block of Forest Lodge Road, just off Anchor Point Road, on Hen Lake on the Whitefish Chain.
Crosslake Police Chief Robert Hartman was one of the first people on the scene. He said looking inside the residence he could see it was fully engulfed, with flames coming through the roof.
Hartman said he was unable to gain access into the residence due to the flames and thick black smoke.
Thames' wife, Goldie, was not home at the time of the fire.
Following Hartman to the scene was Fire Chief Keith Anderson.
"Half the house was fully engulfed and the other half had smoke rolling out of windows already," Anderson said.
Anderson said fighting the fire was difficult because the house was located down a hill on a single-lane road and there was concern of fire trucks carrying water being stuck. With the help of the Ideal Fire Department, firefighters were able to run a large hose from the water trucks to a pumper truck. Firefighters secured the house for the coroner and cleared the scene at 9 p.m. The Pequot Lakes Fire Department also assisted in fighting the fire.
No other injuries were reported.
Deputy State Fire Marshal Mark Germain is investigating the cause of the fire.
Hartman said he met with Germain on Thursday, and the cause of the fire remained under investigation.
"He said the house was so badly burned he was having a difficult time determining where the fire started," Hartman said.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at matt.erickson@brainerd dispatch.com or 855-5857.
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