A family of five was not in their house in Independence when it caught fire on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
At 10:53 a.m., the West Hennepin Public Safety (WHPS) Department and Maple Plain Fire Department were dispatched to the fire at 340 County Road 92 N. As WHPS Police Officer Ben Anderson arrived on scene, he observed heavy smoke rolling out of the home’s roof eaves and the roof vents around the house.
Contact was made with Garlinda Mueller and her family who lived there. It was learned that all residents were out of the house and not in danger. The three adults and two children had evacuated the house prior to it catching on fire.
Maple Plain Fire Department, along with several other fire departments in the area, arrived to put out the fire and attempt to save valuables inside. The interior of the house sustained heavy fire and smoke damage and was a complete loss, according to WHPS.
Assisting fire departments were Loretto Fire, Delano Fire, Hanover Fire, Mayer Fire, St. Bonifacius Fire, Watertown Fire, Long Lake Fire, Mound Fire and Excelsior Fire and Rescue team. Due to warm temperatures and high humidity, additional fire personnel were needed to avoid heat exhaustion for firefighters.
The Hennepin County Investigator Unit responded to the scene and is investigating the cause of the fire. At this time foul play is not suspected. The homeowner, Elaine Mueller, had observed heavy smoke coming out of the ceiling fan in one of the rooms inside the home.