Weather Forecast


UPDATE: Fire destroys house on Edgewood Drive

A fire late Thursday afternoon, July 18, collapsed the roof of a house at 316 Edgewood Drive in the town of Hudson, just north of North Hudson. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson)1 / 4
Assistant Hudson Fire Chief Bill Wanner, left, discusses the fire with Fire Lt. Jay Penfield. The House where Jennifer Polk and Mark Lukas are believed to reside sustained extensive damage.2 / 4
Firefighters worked in 91-degree heat to put out the blaze. St. Croix EMS personnel were on hand to provide medical help if anyone needed it.3 / 4
Fire engines and other emergency response vehicle line Edgewood Drive late Thursday afternoon while firefighters battle a blaze at 316 Edgewood. Fire tankers trucked water from North Hudson to portable tank set up on Edgewood Drive.4 / 4

A home at 316 Edgewood Drive in the town of Hudson is a near complete loss following a fire Thursday afternoon, July 18.

The Hudson Fire Department was dispatched to the split-level house owned by Mark and Jennifer Lukas at 3:20 p.m. after a motorist passing by noticed smoke and flames and called 911.

Firefighters from seven departments were eventually called to battle the blaze in 90-degree-plus heat. No one was injured, but Hudson Fire Chief Jim Frye estimates the damage to the house at $200,000, along with $125,000 in personal property loss.

Firefighters were on the scene for close to three and a half hours, with the last ones leaving at about 6:45 p.m.

Frye said the passerby went up to the house after calling 911, and was met by residents just coming out of it.

Jennifer Lukas’ son, Casey Polk, told a reporter on the scene that he and a younger sister were inside the house when the fire started. Polk said he thought it started on the exterior, and had been burning some time before he noticed it.

Frye, too, said it appeared that the fire started on the exterior of the house, at the southeast corner in the area of the deck. He said investigators aren’t sure of the cause yet.

Frye said fire department investigators will work an insurance investigator to determine the cause of the blaze.

“We still have to do our best to determine a cause if at all possible,” he said. “A lot of times it goes down as undetermined. Whatever you put down, you’ve got to be able to prove.” “We don’t believe it is suspicious at all,” Frye said.

The Town of St. Joseph, Roberts, River Falls, Lower St. Croix Valley, Bayport and Lake Elmo fire departments provided mutual aid at the scene. United Fire (Baldwin/Hammond/Woodville) sent an engine and tanker to the Hudson station to provide coverage if another call came in.

The residence is a short distance north of North Hudson, off Hwy. 35, in the town of Hudson. Fire tanker trucks hauled water to the scene from hydrants at the corner of Hwy. 35 and Krattley Lane in North Hudson.

“We called for plenty of help because of the heat yesterday,” Frye said Friday morning. “We didn’t want anybody to drop.”

St. Croix EMS gave an all-call for available emergency medical technicians to come to the ambulance garage. An ambulance and EMTs were on the fire scene to check on the condition of firefighters before they rejoined the effort, and to assist any over-heated or injured personnel.

“Water and ice towels were the popular items,” said Frye.

Neighbors came to help the Lukases retrieve what possessions they could from the house after the firefighters had left.

Frye said the Red Cross was on the scene and made arrangements for the family to stay at a local hotel for the night. “Then they were going to figure it out from there,” he said of the Lukases.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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