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Firefighters respond to deck fire threatening home

Brainerd firefighters (right) stand outside a home on the 700 block of South Seventh Street, while those who evacuated the home under threat of a deck fire stand on the sidewalk illuminated by emergency lights. Chelsey Perkins / Brainerd Dispatch

A fire engulfing one side of a second-level deck woke up a home full of people late Monday night in south Brainerd.

The Brainerd Fire and Police departments responded to a call of a structure fire about 11:15 p.m. Monday on the 700 block of South Seventh Street.

Chasci Love woke up to go outside and saw the flames licking up the deck spindles. She told her boyfriend Daytona Beach, who woke up others in the house telling them to leave the home.

Homeowner Tina Annable said she was awake to transfer some clothing from the washing machine to the dryer when Beach told her about the burning deck of her home. Austin Annable, 24, said he was awoken from slumber when he heard the commotion

Nineteen-year-old Devin Annable attempted to smother the flames with water from a garden hose while Beach called 911 to report the fire. Devin Annable said the hose was kinked in several places, making it difficult for him to use it effectively at first.

In the front of the house, a gathering of those who were inside included Love's toddler, Elli. All were wrapped in blankets on an unseasonably warm late November night.

When the fire department arrived, smoke rose from the deck as the crew worked to soak the area with a fire extinguisher. Within 10 minutes, a firefighter started a chainsaw and began working to remove the damaged section of the deck. Another entered the residence with "Caution" tape to cordon off the dangerous area.

The cause of the fire was undetermined as of early Tuesday morning.

Chelsey Perkins

Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her bachelor's degree in professional journalism at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Perkins interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins, and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before becoming the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as the county government beat reporter at the Dispatch and a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.

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