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Garage fire kept from spreading to house on Dullum Road

Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek (second from right) patted Brainerd firefighter1 / 2
A Brainerd firefighter aimed a water hose at the scorched remains of a garage th2 / 2

A fire Thursday afternoon destroyed an attached garage at a residence northeast of Brainerd, but firefighters were able to keep flames from entering the house.

The fire, reported at 3:19 p.m., was located at the residence of Stan and Vonie Borle on Dullum Road, which is located off Woodrow Road and Crow Wing County Road 25 about seven miles northeast of Brainerd.

Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek said the garage was caved in when firefighters arrived and it quickly burned to the foundation. People were in the house when the fire started but were able to get out and call 911.

Going after the fire from the entrance between the garage and the house, and through a porch entrance on the front of the house, Brainerd firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading into the house.

"We've got smoke in the house but no flames," Stunek said at the scene. "There was very little damage inside house, some smoke damage but we were able to save house."

Firefighter Rich Bestul sprained a knee while walking hose up a hill to a door to the house. Bestul was checked out at the scene by a crew from North Ambulance and released.

Later Thursday, Stunek said the garage, about 24 feet by 24 feet in size, was a total loss and there was about $75,000 in damage on the property valued at about $225,000. The fire started in the garage, he said, but the cause is still under investigation.

Stunek said fighting the fire was made difficult by below-zero temperatures, which froze hoses and equipment.

"With that extreme cold and temperature, I won't swear and tell you how ugly it is to fight fire but the guys did a wonderful job," Stunek said.

The first firefighters were on the scene in 13 minutes, Stunek said, with 15 to 18 total firefighters responding. The fire was under control at 4:09 p.m. and firefighters cleared the scene at 6:49 p.m.

Stunek said power was restored to the home Thursday night. He said the homeowners will be staying with family while repairs, including sealing up a fire-damaged wall between the house and garage, are made.

MATT ERICKSON may be reached at or 855-5857.