BRAINERD – Occupants of a southeast Brainerd home woke up to a smoke alarm that went off Thursday, Jan. 13 in the 1100 block of Pine Street.
The report says heavy smoke and flames could be seen coming from the house as the Brainerd Fire Department was called to the fire at 4:11 a.m.
“The smoke alarms saved their lives,” Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes said. “If they didn’t have working smoke detectors, it would have been a whole different story.”
The occupants, three adults, left the building. A dog and a cat were also in the house at the time of the fire. The dog succumbed to its injuries and the cat is still missing, Holmes said.
Firefighters brought the fire under control shortly after arriving. Crews remained on site for approximately four hours to ensure the fire was extinguished.
Severe damage occurred to both levels of the house, rendering it uninhabitable. The occupants of the house are staying with friends in town, Holmes said.
The house next door suffered cosmetic damage to its siding due to the heat of the fire. No neighboring houses were evacuated.
The cause of the fire remains unknown as the Brainerd Fire Department continues their investigation, but Holmes noted that foul play was not suspected.
The Brainerd and Deerwood Fire Departments provided approximately 35 firefighters, with assistance from the Brainerd Police Department, Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, North Memorial Health Ambulance and Brainerd Public Utilities.
Holmes said change a home’s smoke detector batteries at least twice a year and recommends using daylight saving time as a good reminder to change the batteries.
Also Thursday, firefighters were called at 9:40 a.m. to report a gas leak on the 1100 block of Northeast Fourth Street in Brainerd. After investigation, it was determined that it was unfounded.