A kitchen fire in the early morning of Sept. 25 left a Coon Rapids townhome uninhabitable.
Police and fire personnel responded to a fire at 1563 Creek Meadow Dr. NW, shortly before 6:30 a.m.
The first-arriving police officer saw smoke and flames coming from an upstairs window, according to the Coon Rapids Police report.
When firefighters arrived, they found a small kitchen fire upstairs, which they extinguished.
Renter Justin Hogan, 29, told police that he fell asleep on the couch about 6 a.m., was awakened by the smoke detector and saw flames coming from the upstairs kitchen area.
According to Hogan’s statement to a police officer, he could not remember whether he had left anything cooking on the stove.
There was heavy fire damage to the kitchen and property and contents loss was estimated at $55,000.
According to Fire Marshal Todd Williams, Hogan had left oil in a pan on the stove without turning the stove off and that caused the fire.
The fire spread from the stove to a microwave oven, then the kitchen cabinets, Williams said.
Hogan had been working long hours, got home from work at 3 a.m., had a bite to eat, then fell asleep, he said.
Peter Bodley is at firstname.lastname@example.org