2 injured in Minnetonka Beach house fire, criminal investigation underway

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Police say two people are recovering from injuries following a house fire in Minnetonka Beach.

Orono Police said they were called to a home on Westwood Road just after 11:30 p.m. Monday on a report of a mental health issue.

Officers were told a person had gas and candles, and that the house was on fire.

When crews arrived, they found flames on the second story, as well as two people outside on the driveway.

Emergency responders transported two females to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to Chief James Van Eyll with the Long Lake Fire Department.

"It’s a highly unusual call for us and the circumstances behind this one make it even more unusual," Van Eyll said. "In my 26 years being a firefighter, I’ve never seen this before."

Van Eyll said the house, valued at more than $3 million, is likely a total loss. The property is well known among neighbors in Minnetonka Beach including Joel Branes.

"It’s such a beautiful house. It’s probably one of the nicer houses in the Minnetonka Beach area," Branes said.

Lifestyle magazine, Artful Living, promoted the more than 6300 square foot home as a featured property in 2016.

Police are treating the fire as a criminal act and are still investigating, but provided no additional updates as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Minnesota State Fire Marshal and the Hennepin County Fire Investigation Team are also conducting a separate investigation.

"Just because there was such a large volume in such a massive area that burned really fast and quick which means it probably had some sort of accelerant used on it," Van Eyll said.

The names and ages of those involved were not immediately released.