Blaze Burns Former Firefighter’s Home in Woodbury

No one was hurt in the Brittany Lane fire, which broke out early Saturday, Oct. 6.

The Woodbury home of a former firefighter succumbed to fire early Saturday morning.

The home, at the 200 block of Brittany Lane, was likely a total loss, Woodbury Fire Cmdr. John Wallgren said at the scene.

Crews were called at about 12:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and had cleared the scene at about 4 a.m. But a hidden rafter later started up again, and firefighters were called back at about 5 a.m., Wallgren said.

“We don’t know the cause yet,” he said.

The fire appears to have started on a deck, Wallgren said, and a woman and her son were in the home at the time.

“She was going to bed and a glass door broke from the heat. The drapes caught fire and she ran out of the house with the kid,” Wallgren said.

No one was hurt in the incident, though the woman was briefly treated at a hospital and released. A pet dog managed to escape, but a cat died in the fire.

It was a fully engulfed fire by the time crews arrived and an adjacent home also incurred damage from the heat, Wallgren said. Saving that home from burning was one of the first things firefighters did upon arrival, he said.

Wallgren was one of the first through the doors, and he said the floor began to collapse as firefighters entered.

At about 7:45 a.m. Saturday morning firefighters were using a “CAFS system,” an air-foam-water mixture, to coat the burned walls of the home in an effort to cool the structure, Wallgren said. “It’s like a thick pudding.”

Tom Richardson, the homeowner, said he was up north hunting when he got the call about the fire, and he left immediately.

As a former firefighter, Richardson said he wanted to find out what happened.

“The fire department did a great job. I’ve got to give them a pat on the back,” he said. “They did an excellent job. They did everything right.”

Firefighters from Cottage Grove and Oakdale helped fight the blaze, and crews from Lake Elmo were on standby.


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Kris Janisch October 07, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Thanks Clint. I added the video to the post. It is just a tough situation. I also heard a rumor that there might have been a boom before the fire. Anybody else hear that?
Caleb Brunz October 07, 2012 at 05:40 PM
There have been a number of fires recently in Woodbury. Even though our fire department is one of the best in the Twin Cities Metro, Fire Prevention is our best course of action to help people. Paul Davis is offering tips for Fire Prevention Week. http://woodbury.patch.com/blog_posts/paul-davis-offers-tips-for-fire-prevention-week-oct-7-13
Doomsayer2012 October 09, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Seeing how the fire department is only 4 blocks away you would have thought it would have been put out in less that 20 minutes & not to have called for help.
BJ October 10, 2012 at 12:21 AM
All of Tom and Char's family are incredibly grateful to the Woodbury Public Safety Department who were at their home within 2 minutes of the call. The intensity of the fire was so severe that the floor collapsed shortly after they arrived. Had the officers who broke through a lower window not done so, we would have not been as blessed as we are.
Kris Janisch October 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Thanks BJ.


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