Fire destroyed a trailer home during the early morning hours Thursday, July 2, claiming the life of a Brainerd man.

Emergency personnel responded to a report of smoke in the area just after 5 a.m. in the Westwood trailer court in west Brainerd, just east of the Westgate Mall. The Brainerd Police Department was the first to respond and located the fire at one of the trailer homes in the trailer court.

A fire engulfs a home Thursday, July 2, in Westwood trailer court. Greg Lambrecht / Brainerd Dispatch
A fire engulfs a home Thursday, July 2, in Westwood trailer court. Greg Lambrecht / Brainerd Dispatch

“Law enforcement was able to confirm someone was inside and they attempted to rescue the male but were unable to get to him because of the smoke and the heat,” Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes said. “Fire crews arrived on scene and were able to gain access into the structure and pulled the male from the structure and got him to North Memorial (Health Ambulance) who were already on scene. They tried lifesaving measures on the male victim, but were unable to revive him.”

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Brainerd firefighters work to extinguish a fire that burned a home in Westwood trailer court Thursday, July 2. A man died as a result of the fire. Greg Lambrecht / Brainerd Dispatch
Brainerd firefighters work to extinguish a fire that burned a home in Westwood trailer court Thursday, July 2. A man died as a result of the fire. Greg Lambrecht / Brainerd Dispatch

Holmes and Brainerd Deputy Fire Chief Dave Cox were at the trailer home most the day with the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office investigating the cause of the fire.

The name of the man was withheld until family members are notified.

Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes lifts the yellow police tape Thursday, July 2, to go back into the trailer home that was destroyed by fire. The trailer home is located in the Westwood Trailer Park. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch
Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes lifts the yellow police tape Thursday, July 2, to go back into the trailer home that was destroyed by fire. The trailer home is located in the Westwood Trailer Park. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch

Neighbor Paul Moser, who lives across the street, said the victim was a good man.

“He was a friend and a really nice guy,” Moser said.

Moser said he was lying in bed when he heard a lot of banging. His initial thought was people were starting early to celebrate the Fourth of July. He looked outside to see what was going on and that is when he saw the trailer was on fire. Moser said he went outside to investigate and saw the flames were as high as the trees.

Paul Moser points Thursday, July 2, to the top of the trees behind him, stating the flames from the fire were as tall as the trees in the Westwood trailer court in west Brainerd. Moser lives across the street from a home that was destoyed by fire. The fire claimed a life of a Brainerd man. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch
Paul Moser points Thursday, July 2, to the top of the trees behind him, stating the flames from the fire were as tall as the trees in the Westwood trailer court in west Brainerd. Moser lives across the street from a home that was destoyed by fire. The fire claimed a life of a Brainerd man. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch

Moser said he took video of the police officers and firefighters on scene.

“They are the true heroes,” Moser said. “The fire department did a good job, I’m very proud of them.”

Moser said he has lived at the Westwood trailer court for about 21 years. He believes the man who died has been his neighbor for about the same amount of time.



JENNIFER KRAUS may be reached at jennifer.kraus@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5851. Follow me at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl on Twitter.