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Dogs, cats die in house fire near South Long Lake

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A Thursday afternoon fire took the lives of two dogs and two cats at a residence on Crow Wing County Road 22 near South Long Lake.

The fire, reported at 3:48 p.m., was found by homeowner Charlotte Wolf when she came home, Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek said. Firefighters were at Wolf’s residence within 15 minutes of the initial call and were able to contain the fire to one room, though the house sustained smoke damage thoughout, Stunek said.

The residence also is home to Wolf Moon Kennel and Dogsled Rides. There were 21 dogs at the kennel, Stunek said. The dogs and cats that perished in the fire were inside the home, while the majority of the Wolf’s animals were outside, he said.

“The family is very distraught,” Stunek said. “Pets are like family, you know.”

Firefighters and North Memorial Ambulance personnel were able to save one cat by giving it oxygen, Stunek said, and no people were reported injured.

The fire appeared to have started in the living room area around a wood burning stove, Stunek said. The cause is still being investigated. Stunek estimated the fire caused about $30,000 in damages.

“They won’t be able to live there at this point,” Stunek said. “The family is being taken care of by friends and their church.”

Crow Wing County Sheriff’s deputies assisted at the scene. The Nisswa Fire Department provided mutual assistance by arriving with a tanker at Brainerd Fire Hall in order to respond in case another fire call came in while Brainerd firefighters were busy with the earlier fire.

Stunek credited firefighters for getting to the scene within 15 minutes and having the fire out within another 10 minutes.

“Response time is so critical when you have to go to a fire that far out of town,” Stunek said.

MATT ERICKSON, night editor, may be reached at 855-5857 or