Shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday, fire crews in Brooklyn Park fought through heavy winds to control a fire that started at a house near Georgia and Florida Avenues, north of Highway 610, and quickly spread to a nearby field.
Deputy Fire Chief Todd Seitz said when the first trucks pulled up, the fire had already reached every room of the house.
Neighbors wondered if their house was next.
"The wind was carrying hot embers and the fire was kind of reaching to my home," said next-door neighbor Nick Kamp, "and I thought our house was going to go, too."
Several firefighters worked to protect the houses on either side, a job made more difficult by the weather. Seitz said conditions were ripe for this fire to spread fast.
"We’re still trying to figure out the origin of the fire; we believe it was the rear of the house," Seitz said. "Sounds like it may have been an exterior fire, which the wind just made much, much worse for us."
Before long, the fire jumped to a nearby field, scorching about 25 acres and running dangerously close to Zane Avenue. As a precaution, police shut Zane Avenue down for at least an hour.
Fire crews from more than a half dozen agencies pitched in to help Brooklyn Park. It took hours for them to get the house and grass fires under control. Luckily, no one was hurt and the houses on either side were damaged, but spared.
The owners of the home that burned, Brian and Jessica Cline, had had just enough time to grab their young son and get out safely before the fire took away everything they owned. Neighbors said the fire department arrived at the scene as quickly as they could, but could not save the house.
"(Brian) was standing out there, arms crossed , just watching his house go up, literally," said Kamp. "Nothing you can do."
Seitz told 12 News the Clines are still in shock. They are staying with family members for now. Seitz said damage to the home is so extensive, investigators may never know what started this fire.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
October 4, 2012