Fire destroys Pipestone home

Firefighters from Pipestone, Jasper and Holland fight a home fire the morning of Saturday, Jan. 13 at 102 14th St. N.W. At the time of this photo, at approximately 8:30 a.m., firefighters had been on the scene for about two hours in sub-zero temperatures. The firemen remained active at the site until early afternoon. The home was a total loss and no injuries were reported. J. Draper

No one was injured, but a Pipestone home was completely destroyed by fire Saturday morning, Jan. 13.

According to the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office, the fire at 102 14th St. N.W. near Minnesota West Community and Technical College was reported at 6:14 a.m. The property is owned by Jim Morgan, according to the sheriff’s office, and Amy Wesselink, Pedro Luttrell and David Wright were there at the time the fire was reported. All three were reportedly out of the residence when emergency responders arrived and had somewhere to stay.

Leah Pockrandt, executive director of the American Red Cross serving southwest Minnesota, said the Red Cross was contacted about the fire on Saturday and was working with the residents to make sure their immediate needs were met and to develop a recovery plan going forward.

Pipestone Fire Chief Mike Bloemendaal said the home was filled with smoke when firefighters arrived. It appeared that the fire started in the attic and might have been the result of an electrical system overloaded by electric heaters.

Bloemendaal said firefighters were on the scene for over seven hours. During that time the temperature ranged from 4 degrees below zero to 13 degrees below zero, and the windchill ranged from 26 below to 43 below, according to the National Weather Service. Bloemendaal said it was the coldest day he’s been on the scene of a fire since he joined the fire department in 2002.

He contacted Troy Heidebrink with Minnesota West, who opened up part of the building, so firefighters could take turns warming up. Community members brought donuts, coffee and pizza to firefighters while they were on the scene.

“The community really helped us out,” Bloemendaal said.

Firefighters from Jasper and Holland were called in for mutual aid. The Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office and Pipestone County Ambulance also responded to the scene.