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Brainerd family loses home to fire

A house destroyed by fire early Thursday morning south of Brainerd was consumed by 10- to 12-foot flames and heavy smoke when firefighters arrived, fire officials reported.

Brainerd firefighter Matt Cordes, who was one of the first firefighters on scene, said flames and smoke were coming from the back side of the house located at 6749 Wetherbee Road.

Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek said the home, owned by Paul Nash, had substantial damage and was a total loss. Stunek said the family of six, including four children ages 12, 7 and two 9-year-olds, were sleeping at the time of the fire was reported at 1:16 a.m. None of the family members were injured. Stunek said the family awoke when they heard the smoke detectors go off and saw that the home was filled with heavy smoke. Stunek said the windows of the home, which were two mobile homes next to each other, were broken.

Stunek said the cause of the fire appears to have been from a wood-burning stove.

About 25 firefighters were on scene fighting the fire until 6:10 a.m. Thursday.

“The firefighters did an excellent job fighting this fire,” said Stunek. “This was a difficult fire to fight as there were multiple roofs and walls to get through. It was a lot of work.”

Stunek said one firefighter was injured during the fire. The firefighter cut his hand and had three stitches put in. The firefighter is fine and is back to work.

North Memorial Ambulance, Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office and Brainerd Police Department assisted at the scene.

Stunek said this time of year families are looking for alternative burning methods and he advises people to be careful on how their heat their homes and to be safe.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at