By Ryan Gueningsman
INDEPENDENCE, MN Firefighters were called to a Nelson Road home in Independence about 10 p.m. Tuesday after a passerby noticed flames coming from the roof area and alerted the occupants.
Authorities were called to a house in the 900 block of Nelson Road that is owned by John Klinkner and rented by James Lennon, according to West Hennepin Public Safety (WHPS). The passerby stopped and knocked on the door and the people in the residence exited.
A WHPS officer arrived on scene, confirmed it was a house fire, and called for response from fire departments.
Delano Fire Chief Bob Van Lith said his department, with assistance from departments from Watertown, Montrose, Maple Plain, and Victoria, was able to contain the fire to the roof/attic area. The upper level of the residence was heavily damaged.
The cold, windy weather of the night caused difficulty for firefighters on scene, Van Lith noted, adding that air packs were freezing up. The Victoria Fire Department brought a trailer to provide the firefighters with respite from the elements when they were not actively fighting the fire.
Van Lith said firefighters entered the residence and fought from inside. He said in the event of a house fire, this may not always be possible, but said based on what was observed, it was a good way to attack the fire.
Although four people were at the residence at the time of the fire, no injuries to the occupants or to firefighters were reported.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to Van Lith.
Firefighters were on scene until about 3 a.m. Wednesday morning.