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Lightning culprit in small fires in lakes area

Fried Outlet
Lightning struck a guest house Monday night off Pelican Lake in Merrifield, frying this electrical outlet. Submitted Photo
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Lightning struck twice and possibly a third time Monday night, Sept. 2, in the Brainerd lakes area, causing a few minor fires.

Mission Fire and Rescue was called at 8:49 p.m. to a structure fire on the 30000 block of Crow Wing County Highway 3 on Pelican Lake in Merrifield. Upon arrival, Eric Makowski-Budrow, fire chief for Mission, said lightning struck a guest house on the property, affecting an electrical outlet and knocking out the power. The homeowners, Sean and Kelly Kramer, heard the lightning strike and went to the guest house to check it out. They saw smoke and the outlet on fire and used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out.

Makowski-Budrow said the fire had the potential to become a large fire, but with the homeowners’ actions and the firefighters’ fast response time, the danger was eliminated.

The fire caused damage to the wall and some smoke damage.

Mission called Crosslake Fire Department for mutual aid and close to 25 firefighters responded, along with North Memorial Ambulance. There were no injuries.

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Mission Fire

South of Brainerd, the Little Falls Fire Department responded to two fires at about 9-9:30 p.m. Monday in Fort Ripley Township. The first call was on the 2900 block of Meyer Road, on property owned by Sandra and David Tautges. It was reported lightning struck a tree on the property and the homeowners lost power.

Fire Chief Mike Nieman said the homeowners could smell smoke, but firefighters couldn’t find anything.

Nieman said they were on their way back to Little Falls, when they received another fire call on the 3100 block of County Highway 2 in Fort Ripley Township, at a property owned by Joshua and Katie Collins. Firefighters found a fried pressure switch on the water tank on the lower level of the home. Nieman believed lightning may have been the cause of the incident.

There were no injuries in both calls and about 16 firefighters responded.

Mission Fire

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