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Brainerd Fire assists light post-holiday Pillager crew

A short-staffed Pillager Fire Department called on Brainerd comrades Friday to assist with a chimney fire threatening a home. Tom Youngblom, captain of the Pillager department, said several firefighters were unavailable or out of town the day aft...

A short-staffed Pillager Fire Department called on Brainerd comrades Friday to assist with a chimney fire threatening a home.

Tom Youngblom, captain of the Pillager department, said several firefighters were unavailable or out of town the day after Thanksgiving. Five volunteers were able to respond to the the blaze on the 2100 block of 125th Street Southwest, just east of Sylvan Lake. Firefighters were called to the fire at 2:08 p.m. Friday and upon arrival, determined more manpower might be necessary.

"When the first truck got there, they had smoke coming out of the eaves," Youngblom said. "It look like it was going pretty good."

Youngblom called for mutual aid from the Brainerd Fire Department, requesting a tanker, engine and more firefighters. When he arrived on the scene in a second truck, the situation looked even more dire.

"You could hardly see the house, it was smoking so bad," Youngblom said.

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Four firefighters and a fifth who arrived without gear worked to contain the blaze, which was put out before the Brainerd crew arrived.

"Brainerd showed up and we started doing overhaul," Youngblom said.

Youngblom said the residents would likely have to replace the entire roof following the fire. The source of the flames appeared to be a chimney fire that wasn't quite extinguished, eventually spreading into the attic. Youngblom said the homeowner experienced a chimney fire in the early morning and thought it was extinguished. After returning home from a trip to Brainerd, smoke was visible and the fire department was called.

Damage to the interior of the home was minimal, Youngblom said.

About 15 firefighters responded to the fire between the two departments. They left the scene about 5:30 p.m.

Chelsey Perkins is the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch. A lakes area native, Perkins joined the Dispatch staff in 2014. She is the Crow Wing County government beat reporter and the producer and primary host of the "Brainerd Dispatch Minute" podcast.
Reach her at chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com or at 218-855-5874 and find @DispatchChelsey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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