Residents escape Paullina house fire

The owners of a rural Paullina residence escaped unharmed when their house was destroyed in a fire Monday evening, Sept. 16. The residence is located about a mile south of Paullina.

PAULLINA—The owners of a rural Paullina residence escaped unharmed when their house was destroyed in a fire Monday evening, Sept. 16.

The Paullina Fire Department responded at about 11:30 p.m. to a call of a garage fire at 4775 Redwing Ave. about a mile south of Paullina.

Paullina fire chief Brent Noteboom said the house’s three-door attached garage was engulfed in flames as firefighters approached the scene, which they arrived to at about 11:40 p.m.

“It was a relatively large fire,” Noteboom said.

He noted the owners of the residence were at home at the time of the fire. According to the O'Brien County Assessor’s Office, Kent and Laura Lundquist own the house.

“Both got out safely,” Noteboom said. “The smoke detectors were working.”

The Paullina firefighters were aided by fellow firefighters and equipment from Cleghorn, Granville, Meriden, Primghar and Sutherland.

Noteboom mentioned the heat and humidity affected firefighters as they battled the blaze; wind was not a factor. He reported that no one was injured.

“Not only was the fire hot, it was hot outside,” he said. “The humidity was taking a lot out of our guys.”

About 30-35 firefighters were on the scene until nearly 5:30 a.m. Approximately 100,000 gallons of water was used to extinguish the flames.

“I want to thank all of the departments that showed up to help us that night,” Noteboom said.

Between the fire and water damage, the house and at­­tached garage were ruled a total loss.

“We could save the contents of the main floor and the basement, but the roof was completely burned off the house,” Noteboom said.

According to the county assessor’s office, the residence was built in 2008 and had an assessed value of $320,740.

Noteboom noted the blaze began in the house’s attached garage. The cause of the fire is thought to be electrical in nature.

“It basically gutted the garage and took the roof off of the main house,” Noteboom said.

There is a utility building located on the property near the residence, but it was not damaged by the blaze.

“Everything was far enough away we had no concern about that,” Noteboom said.

Paullina firefighters returned to the scene at about 11 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, to put out hot spots that had flared up.

“With the wind coming up, it was rekindling in different spots,” Noteboom said.