Fires leave two Coon Rapids homes uninhabitable

Fires left two Coon Rapids homes uninhabitable last night (Thursday, Jan. 17).

Fire totaled the home of Norman and Gerry Larson on Crooked Lake, Coon Rapids, yesterday evening (Thursday, Jan. 17).
Fire totaled the home of Norman and Gerry Larson on Crooked Lake, Coon Rapids, yesterday evening (Thursday, Jan. 17).

Coon Rapids Fire Department responded to the first fire at the home of Norman and Sherry Larson, 12962 Crooked Lake Lane N.W., shortly after 5:30 p.m., then shortly before 1 a.m. firefighters were sent to another blaze, this time at the home of Leslie Ann Kauk at 501 110th Ave. N.W.

The Larsons were not home when a neighbor called in the fire that had broken out at their house, which is located on Crooked Lake.

According to Sherry Larson, her husband was at work and she was visiting her father in Minneapolis.

But they returned home after the neighbor contacted them and firefighters were on the scene, Sherry Larson said.

The house was totaled, but the Larsons plan to build a new home on the lot where they have lived for 26 years.

“We have been very happy here,” Sherry Larson said.

“We have been told that it will take five to six months.”

In the meantime, their insurance company will find them a place to live, according to Sherry Larson.

When the call came in to the fire department, the deck at the rear of the house was on fire and it was spreading up the back, the fire department run report states.

Visible fire could be seen from some distance away so Coon Rapids Fire Department Capt. Tim Gilsrud struck a general alarm and called in mutual aid from other fire departments.

Concern over the structural integrity of the house prompted Gilsrud to order that no firefighters enter the residence, according to the fire department run report.

The basement, kitchen and attic were all involved with fire at the same time and Coon Rapids crews, as well as firefighters that had been called in from other departments, rotated to cut holes in the side of the home and the floor in an effort to put out the fire, Gilsrud wrote in the run report.

Eventually though, a backhoe was brought in to tear the roof off from the front of the home until it was opened up enough for firefighters to completely extinguish the fire, he wrote.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Bret Gageby, it appears the fire was caused by hot embers from a wood burning stove in the basement that had been stored outside by the deck.

The home, a walk-out, was an older house with additions, Gageby said.

A neighbor called in the fire at a single-story home on 110th Avenue at 12:50 a.m. this morning (Friday, Jan. 18) and the first arriving police officer found Kauk outside with smoke and flames coming from the roof and back of the house, according to the Coon Rapids Police report.

En route, Gilsrud struck another general alarm and called in mutual aid from the Andover and Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View fire departments.

After the initial fire was knocked down, firefighters rescued a cat that was inside the home; Kauk had previously rescued her dog, Gageby said.

The cat had smoke inhalation, but was given oxygen and was all right, according to Gageby.

The fire started in the bedroom where Kauk was in bed and is believed to have been caused by smoking, Gageby said.

Kauk had some soot around her nose and her face was slightly black, but after initially declining treatment from paramedics at the scene, she was taken to the hospital by her parents, according to Gilsrud’s run report.

“She will be OK,” Gageby said.

The fire left the home uninhabitable, he said.

There was fire damage in the bedroom and attic and smoke damage throughout, Gageby said.


Peter Bodley is at
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