The St. James Fire Department responded to a call at 4:40 p.m. reporting a large house fire at a residence located on Seventh Avenue North, St. James.
The house belongs to Pastor Jose Carreon. He and his son were not at home at the time of the fire, but one adult woman and three children were home when the fire began. All individuals located in and around the house escaped without injury.
Responding to the fire were units from Ormsby, Odin, LaSalle and Darfur as well as the St. James Fire Department and Ambulance.
Initial reports indicate that the fire began on the southeast side of the home, but quickly spread to the rest of the house. Local fire departments continued to work on the home until 1:25 a.m. when they finally left for the night.
St. James Fire Chief Jason Monnens said the departments handled the fire well, with the only difficulty coming from the crowd that gathered to witness the burn. He wanted to remind the public that a burning building is dangerous, and that they should clear the streets of any vehicles so that fire trucks can get water on scene as quickly as possible. He also warned that in the future, vehicles may be ticketed in an emergency situation if they are parked near the scene.
A Fire Marshal visited the scene of the fire the following day, but the cause of the incident is still under investigation. An insurance investigation is also taking place at the residence.
The Carreon family is reportedly doing well, all things considered.
The fire serves as a reminder to everyone to take precautions to ensure that your family is ready in an emergency situation. It only takes minutes for a fire to burn out of control, so careful inspection of your fire alert systems is key, along with a detailed escape plan that the family knows and is ready to follow.
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