One person killed in rural Becker County house fire
Firefighters from Frazee, Minnesota, were called to a house north of town at about 2 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22.
ROCHERT, Minn. — One person has died as a result of a house fire in rural Becker County early Wednesday morning, Dec. 22.
Fire crews were called to the home at 36235 Hubble Pond Road in rural Rochert, about 10 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes, at 2:12 a.m., according to a release from the Becker County Sheriff's Office. It was unknown if the home was occupied at the time of the call.
When first responders arrived, the home had collapsed due to extensive fire damage, the release said. The Minnesota State Fire Marshal's office responded to the scene and located the victim in the collapsed structure.
"One of the sheriff's deputies had beat me there … and he had radioed back to me stating that the house was collapsed due to extensive fire damage and, when I arrived on-scene, that's certainly what it was, the whole house was collapsed," said Frazee Fire Chief Joe Nelson. "There was still some active fire, however, it wasn't raging."
Nelson said, once their main fire engine made it to the scene, firefighters immediately went to work to put out the remaining fire and control the fire's smoldering hotspots to limit the flare-up potential. He also said the emergency call was reported to dispatch by a neighbor.
Nelson added, "We quickly realized that there was a vehicle parked in the driveway and the law enforcement … tried to make contact with the person who's residence it belonged to, but no contact was made, and that's when we kind of switched gears quickly because we may have a victim inside."
Firefighters would've made an entry to search for any potential victims, if the home was still standing, he said, but since it was collapsed, stability and safety concerns limited rescuers ability to enter residence. Nelson also contacted the state fire marshal's office to assist at the scene.
"Once the whole team arrived and we got all the hot spots out and we deemed it safe for them to enter, (the victim) was found rather quickly," said Nelson.
Crews were actively monitoring hot spots, and the house was only smoking as of 7 a.m. Wednesday.
The investigation into the cause of the fire remains ongoing through the state fire marshal's office, he said. The name of the victim is being withheld until their identity is confirmed and their family has been notified.