Approximately 40 firefighters from five area fire departments responded to a house fire that occurred at 421 Lake Street E in Waconia at about 5:38 p.m. on Thursday, July 17.
Waconia Fire Chief Mark Morse was the first to arrive on the scene, which was a residence fully engulfed in flames. Morse said a 2nd Alarm was immediately requested, which brought the following resources (in addition to the 16 firefighters and equipment that responded from Waconia): Engine and crews from St. Bonifacius, Victoria and Mayer and a rescue and life safety unit from Watertown. A stand by engine and crew from Cologne covered the city of Waconia in case there were any other calls during the incident.
According to Morse, the fire was under control by 6:05 p.m. and completely extinguished at approximately 6:30 p.m. There were no civilian injuries or casualties and no firefighter injuries. Morse said all residents in the structure and adjacent homes were confirmed evacuated upon their arrival.
The Carver County Sheriff’s Office reported that the residence is a complete loss due to the fire damage at an estimated value of about $225,000. Morse noted that firefighters were able to salvage some of the home owners personal property during the course of fighting the fire, including some personal photos off of the walls.
Damage also occurred to the siding and personal property of the home at 425 Lake Street E and the adjacent home exterior and attic of 417 Lake Street E.
At the Waconia City Council meeting on July 21, Morse reported that the temporarily displaced location of the fire station had no effect on the department’s response times, noting that Waconia’s three groups of firefighters showed up two, four and eight minutes after the initial call. Morse added that it was a tough fire to fight.
“The fire grew very rapidly due to the presence of two propane tanks that contributed to the fire spread and development,” explained Morse, who clarified that explosions heard by the public were not the cause of the fire. “Explosions that were heard during the course of this fire were the propane tanks failing after the vents could no longer release the contents of the tank quickly enough.”
Morse said the fire is currently being investigated by the Waconia Fire Department along with the Minnesota State Fire Marshall Division. Details related to the investigation were unavailable at this time but Morse did note that the cause of the fire is not suspicious in nature.
“Tactically, this was a difficult fire to fight because of the topography of the area and difficult access to this structure,” Morse said. “I am very proud of the work the firefighters did to contain this fire mostly to the home of origin and their efforts to keep it from spreading to the interior of the adjacent town home.
“Waconia has a very hard working group of professional volunteer paid on call firefighters. They are committed to protecting our citizens and their property at a moment’s notice,” added Morse, who said the department currently has 32 firefighters that proudly serve the more than 11,000 people in Waconia and another 3,000 or so people in the portions of Laketown and Waconia townships that the department also protects.
On behalf of Waconia Fire, Morse thanked their mutual aid fire partners (Victoria, St. Boni, Watertown, Mayer and Cologne) and the Carver County Sheriff’s Office and Ridgeview Ambulance for their assistance.
Contact Todd Moen at [email protected]