Woman killed in Pine County house fire

Updated: September 18, 2019 06:35 PM

A 62-year-old woman is dead after a mobile home fire a little more than an hour north of the Twin Cities.

The Pine County Sheriff's Office said first responders were called just before 8 p.m. on the report of a house fire on Highway 23, west of Highway 107, near Brook Park. When firefighters arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames.


The caller was actually the homeowner, who had to drive a mile to a gas station to call 911 because his phone was lost in the fire.

"We heard the sirens, and that's not unusual we have ambulances going up and down the road, but this time it didn't stop," said Wayne Golly, a neighbor. "And we could see flashing lights through our trees and finally our curiosity was up ... stepped outside we could smell the smoke and then we could see the smoke against the backdrop of the lights of the emergency vehicles. And then I walked down here to see what was going on."

The homeowner said he and his wife were in separate rooms of the home when he noticed the fire. The man said he was able to get out of the home and made attempts to re-enter. However, he was unable to find his wife, he said.

"He heard something about fire, he opens up the door to his bedroom, he sees the flames and smoke," said Chief Deputy Paul Widenstrom. "My understanding is that he tried to get to her, yelled for her, she didn't answer. As he tried to get to her, yelled for her, she didn't answer. He went outside and came around to a different door to the house. He opened that and it was so thick with smoke he couldn't get in."

Once the fire was under control, firefighters found the man's wife dead inside the mobile home.

Now that the flames and smoke is out, Golly came back for a second look. He said he can't think of anyone who actually knew the couple who lived there.

The State Fire Marshal will assist with the investigation of the fire. The Red Cross is assisting the homeowner with temporary housing.

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