Mother’s Day fire leaves Brainerd family homeless

The Brainerd Fire Department responded to the fire, reported at 11:34 p.m. Sunday, May 14, on the 200 block of North Fifth Street.

Flames and smoke coming from a home at night.
The Brainerd Fire Department responded to flames and smoke, reported at 11:34 p.m. Sunday, May 14, 2023, on the 200 block of North Fifth Street.
Contributed / Ariel Christina King

BRAINERD — A teenage boy woke a family of eight by pounding on their door late Sunday night, May 14, alerting them to a house fire.

They escaped unharmed, but lost everything else, including their pets.

The Brainerd Fire Department responded to the fire, reported at 11:34 p.m. on the 200 block of North Fifth Street. According to Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes, fire crews responded to a report of a possible house fire at Kingwood and North Fifth streets.

Holmes said the family was alerted to the fire on their back porch by a teenage boy. At the time no smoke or flames could be seen in the home, though flames could be seen at the back of the home. Two adults and six children made it out of the home safely. A dog and two cats died in the fire, however.

A home with extensive fire and smoke damage.
The home on the 200 block of North Fifth shows extensive fire damage Monday, May 15, 2023, after a late-night Mother's Day fire.
Tim Speier / Brainerd Dispatch

Upon arrival, firefighters found the porch in the back of the home in flames. With the fire moving up the outside wall and into an attic space, it quickly spread into the upper floor and east side of the house.


With mutual aid called in from the Deerwood Fire Department, it took 30 firefighters around 4.5 hours to extinguish the fire. Holmes said the home appears to be a total loss as there was extensive damage to all floors. The family was receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office.

A GoFundMe page was created by a family friend to help the family who suffered “... the worst way imaginable” to end Mother’s Day, according to a post on the page. The post states the family is staying in a hotel with nothing but the clothes they ran out of the burning house in.

“We will look for her dad’s ashes and anything that may be salvageable,” the post said.

During the fire marshals' walk-through Monday morning, they called the Brainerd Fire Department out to the home to put water on some hot spots in the home. Assisting at the scene were the Brainerd Police Department, the Deerwood Fire Department and North Memorial Health Ambulance.

Headline News from the Brainerd Dispatch

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email .

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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