By Lynda Jensen
WINSTED, MN The fire that destroyed a Winsted firefighter’s house has been ruled arson, according to State Fire Marshal Casey Stotts.
There is a $2,500 reward for information that would lead to the identity of the person(s) responsible for the fire in Westgate, at the home of Cody and Laura Krause, which took place March 28.
The determination of cause was made public Wednesday, with Stotts encouraging anyone who knows anything to call 800-723-2020 or the Winsted Police Department at (320) 485-2600.
Winsted Fire Chief Chad Engel told the Herald Journal in the recent past that a preliminary assessment made by himself and Stotts at the scene on the day of the fire was that the fire appeared to be electrical in nature.
As a normal procedure during these types of investigations, Engel has been removed from the process to avoid a potential conflict of interest and more recently, was not willing to comment further.
Stotts noted that the house fire in Lester Prairie March 7, where another firefighter’s house was destroyed, had a completely different cause.
The Lester Prairie fire was the result of rags that were used with stain, and then laid out to dry. After drying, they were put into a garbage can in the garage, with other garbage placed on top. This ignited and caused a fire in the garage, which destroyed the house.
As for the Winsted house, not much was salvageable from the home. All of the family photos were destroyed.
The Herald Journal reported April 20 that Stotts ruled the fire as electrical. The cause has not been officially determined yet. However, the article continued to report that the fire was still under investigation, which is true.