By Barbie Porter


Around 8:40 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4, the Frazee Fire Department was called to action. A homeowner at Height Of Land Township said smoke was smoldering in a wall where the chimney was located.

The people residing in the home were all accounted for and safe. 

Frazee Fire Chief Joe Nelson said the crew prepared for a full structure fire. When the firefighters arrived visible flames could be seen, but it was quickly determined the fire was fairly contained. 

“It was a chimney fire,” Nelson said, adding the home had vaulted ceilings. “We began putting it out and once the initial blaze was out, we investigated for hot spots.”

The department utilizes a thermal imagery camera to identify any heat in the walls. When it was discovered the fire extended to the roof line, firefighters made strategic cuts from the room to put out the smoldering heat.

With a subzero temperate and 15 below windchill, mini skating rinks formed from the flowing water. However, the firefighters adapted and saved the house from being a total loss. Nelson said the battle lasted about two hours.   

The fire didn’t require a lot of water because it was confined. However, Nelson said mutual aid was called on from the Detroit Lakes Fire Department and Wolf Lake Fire Department, as is often the protocol when a structure is involved. He added, if the structure were fully engulfed a dry hydrant is available on Height of Land Lake for them to use. 

“Between our two tenders and the mutual aid, we didn’t need the dry hydrant,” he said. 

Nelson said once the battle with the fire concludes the chief-on-scene will refocus his efforts on the people that live there. He said if they need a place to stay, the Red Cross is called in and other avenues are taken to help those in need. He said, in this instance, the residents had a place to stay for the night already lined up.

“All-in-all, everyone did great,” he said. “Thank you to the mutual aid departments that stepped up and helped out; having mutual aid available makes us all one great team.”