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UPDATE: Early morning fire sends NR resident to hospital

Neighbors — who were alerted to the emergency by loud noises caused by the explosion of oxygen tanks stored in the garage — assisted those in the residence out of the home safely before the fire department arrived. Jordan Willi / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
A fire was reported at 1430 Meadowlark Lane at 12:43 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11. The NR Fire & Rescue team arrived on the scene less than three minutes after the fire was reported. Jordan Willi / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Five New Richmond Fire & Rescue units responded to a single home fire at 1430 Meadowlark Lane at 12:43 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. The New Richmond Fire & Rescue team arrived on the scene less than three minutes after the fire was reported.

"We haven't any idea what the cause was right now. We will leave that up to the experts," said Fire Chief Jim VanderWyst. "Something happened out in the garage. The fire was stubborn just like any other house fire. By the time you can get down to the bottom of all the couches and stuff like that, it takes a while. We didn't want to leave until we knew it was completely out."

Three people were in the residence — which is owned by Sandra Traaseth, according to property records — at the time of the fire, VanderWyst said. All three made it out of the residence with help from neighbors who heard loud noises caused by the explosion of oxygen tanks stored in the garage. One of the residents was transported to Westfields Hospital for smoke inhalation, before being transferred to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

According to VanderWyst, one third to half of the residence was damaged by the fire, which makes the home unlivable. In addition to the damage to the home, three vehicles were damaged by exposure to the fire. The fire department left the scene at 2:50 a.m. after putting out all the flames throughout the residence.

One of the residents uses oxygen, VanderWyst said, which is why the cylinders of oxygen were stored in the garage. However, the oxygen tank explosion wasn't the cause of the fire.

Roberts-Warren Fire Department was called up for station coverage while five New Richmond Fire & Rescue units battled the Meadowlark Lane fire.

More information will be added when it becomes available.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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