UPDATE: Troy fire severely damages house on Glover
Flames were visible near the porch and side of a town of Troy house at 351 N. Glover Road just after 8:30 a.m. Thursday, March 27. The property owner there is Somdy Kong. It took six minutes after the call for the first group of firefighters to arrive.
River Falls Fire Chief said the blaze, which took half an hour to control, caused significant damage to one fourth of the house and probably left in uninhabitable.
River Falls Police Sgt. Jeff Sather arrived first to help St. Croix County sheriff's deputies in assessing the alarm that was received.
Sather said he found an elderly woman using a five-gallon pail to toss wet snow from the yard at the flames. He got her away from the flames and she was unharmed.
The woman was the only one in the house at the time of the blaze.
The homeowner, her son, showed up later. He said his mother was visiting his house overnight.
The distraught man, who wouldn't give his name, stood at the end of the gravel driveway as he watched River Falls firefighters and EMTS try to extinguish the fire at his house.
He said he had lived there for a long time with his brother.
The initial call was received at the St. Croix County Dispatch Center from someone reporting the fire secondhand. A dispatcher was able to connect with the woman in the house.
Fire alarms could be heard in the background of the call. The dispatcher encouraged the woman who answered the phone to evacuate the house immediately.
The fire scene is about two miles north of River Falls city limits at the intersection of South and North Glover roads less than a mile from Hwy. 35.
Upon arrival, River Falls firefighters immediately requested water tankers from Hudson and Roberts to help. An Ellsworth firefighting crew provided backup at the River Falls Fire Station.
River Falls, with 22 firefighters responding, sent two pumpers, three tankers and its brush truck with additional manpower. An engine from Hudson was later requested.
Firefighters appeared to have the blaze under control shortly after 9 a.m. with only heavy smoke billowing from inside the house. A pair of firefighters went up a ladder to chop open and vent the roof. Others, wearing oxygen tanks, went inside to put out any hot spots.
There was concern that propane tanks might be inside the house and could ignite.
Nelson said firefighters stayed for two hours. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries.
There was speculation on the scene of a malfunctioning electric heater, but Nelson said the fire's cause hasn't been determined. No damage estimate was given.