Fires destroy cabin in Dairyland, home in Solon Springs
No injuries were reported.
DOUGLAS COUNTY — Firefighters battled structure fires in both Solon Springs and Dairyland Sunday, Nov. 20. No injuries were reported, according to Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reports.
The Dairyland fire, which destroyed a hunting cabin at 15639 South Swedish Highway, was reported at 2:39 p.m. Sunday. The property owner told Deputy Cory Fossum with the sheriff’s office that he could smell something burning and noticed a fire in the wall near the fireplace. The fire quickly spread through the cabin interior, but he was able to get out without injury.
A structure fire at 8375 E. County Road A in Solon Springs was reported at 5:13 p.m. that same day. When the Solon Springs Fire Department arrived on the scene, the home was fully engulfed and both the garage and part of the house were about to collapse, according to Solon Springs Fire Chief Jonathon Brostowitz.
“At this time it's undetermined how the fire started,” he said. “This was a hard fire to battle due to how intense the fire was on the interior upon arrival. The structure was a complete loss.”
A traveling motorist called in the blaze, Brostowitz said. The man who lived at the home was down the road at his parents’ house at the time. When he got a call informing him about the fire, he returned home to find the attached garage on fire, according to a report from Fossum.
“He then broke out a basement window and got his cats out,” the deputy wrote.
The Solon Springs Fire Department requested mutual aid from Bennett, Gordon and Hawthorne fire departments. Firefighters were on scene for about six and a half hours, Brostowitz said. It took another hour or so at the fire station to clean up, refill air bottles and go through everything to prepare for the next call.
“I can’t thank the volunteers enough for assisting in battling this blaze Sunday night,” Brostowitz said. “It was a long evening for everyone, but at the end of the night on my way home from the station, I was relieved no one was hurt or killed in this situation.”
Other first responders who were on scene included the sheriff's office and Mayo Ambulance. The Douglas County Highway Department sanded the road to and from the water point and the town of Solon Springs assisted with its backhoe to gain access to the collapsed interior and hot spots.
One person who was displaced is getting help from his family and friends, officials said.
Heating season brings fire risk
The back-to-back fires come as temperatures are dropping in Douglas County and heating season is ramping up. Brostowitz encouraged residents to make a house cleaning checklist to prevent fires:
- Keep combustibles away from anything that is a heat source.
- Have the furnace cleaned and checked by a professional.
- Keep electric heaters away from anything that’s combustible.
- Clean the chimneys.
- Have working smoke detectors in the home.
“If you have (smoke detectors) already, check the batteries and test them to make sure they work,” the fire chief said. "It wouldn’t hurt to check your CO detectors or purchase one as well. Carbon monoxide or CO is an odorless and colorless gas that can kill anyone. Have a CO detector in your home.”