Fire reduces Elk River home to rubble


Fire has destroyed a house in Elk River.

Firefighters from Elk River and four other departments battled the blaze late Tuesday night, April 30.

Fire engulfed a home at 13573 212th Ave. in Elk River late Tuesday night.
Fire engulfed a home at 13573 212th Ave. in Elk River late Tuesday night. Submitted photo

Elk River Fire Chief T. John Cunningham said the fire was heavily involved on the back side of the house when they arrived. Due to the heavy winds, the fire spread very rapidly throughout the rest of the house, he said.

Three family members — David and Diane Ford and son Andrew — inside the home at 13573 212th Ave. got out safely. One sustained a minor injury, Cunningham said.

The fire started on the back side of the home near a porch. “There’s nothing suspicious. We know where it started. We’re just trying to hone in a little bit more on what actually may have been the ignition source,” he said Wednesday.

The fire was reported at 11:25 p.m. One of the home’s occupants had seen the fire outside and was able to get everyone out. Shortly after, the smoke alarms went off, Cunningham said.

“We’re very fortunate that someone was awake when the fire occurred,” he said, noting that because the fire originated on the outside of the building there can be a delay in smoke detectors activating.

In addition to the Elk River Fire Department, the Zimmerman/Livonia Fire District and Big Lake, Ramsey and Rogers fire departments were on the scene. The home is located in the non-hydranted area of the city so water had to be shuttled in.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also responded to the fire. The DNR put out spot grass fires that were started by wind-blown embers from the fire, Cunningham said.

Firefighters were on the scene until about 5 a.m.

The Red Cross was there to assist the family, he said. They also have family and friends in the area, he said.