May 21, 2007

Fire damages Franklin Township home Tuesday

Local superintendent, Memorial Day speaker, shares his Vietnam story

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

Fire damaged a home on 90th Street SE in Franklin Township Tuesday just after noon.

Members of the Delano Fire Department responded to the home, owned by George Fake, which was noticed on fire and called in by a passerby, said Delano Fire Chief Bob Van Lith.

“It was a rental property, and there were people living upstairs,” Van Lith said. “No one was home at the time of the fire, and no one was injured.”

Mutual aid was called in from the Watertown Fire Department, as the call came in as a structure fire.

Van Lith said the damage done by the fire was pretty much contained to the upper level of the residence, and that the actual cause of the fire remains under investigation. He said the area of the fire’s origin has been determined, but not the origin itself.

He said that even though most of the damage from the fire was contained to the second floor, the structure will most likely be torn down.

Fake said his grandfather, Joseph Fake, built the home in 1913, and it has remained in the family since that time.

“Up until two or three years ago, it had the original windows in it,” Fake said. “There’s no house today that’ll be able to stand up to that.”

He said even though the home was old, everything had been updated and kept modern.

Its renters, two young men, lost everything in the blaze, Fake said. They have since found alternate living arrangements, he added. Fake confirmed the structure will be torn down.

Van Lith said the windy conditions of the day didn’t hamper firefighting efforts.

“Wind does fuel fire, but it didn’t cause any real great problems,” he said, adding there wasn’t any outbuildings close that he was concerned about it spreading to.

The fire department remained on scene for about three hours, Van Lith said. Ridgeview Ambulance stood by at the scene of the fire in case anyone was injured. The Wright County Sheriff’s Office also assisted at the scene.

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