LAKEVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) - One person is dead after a house fire in Lakeville, Minnesota, with firefighters battling not just flames early Tuesday morning but also bone-chilling temperatures that strain equipment and first responders alike.
At least two people were able to escape the blaze on Jasmine Way just before 3:00 a.m., though neighbors didn't see the blaze--or expect its final result--until too late.
"I thought somebody was having a heart attack," said Tony Clemens, who lives nearby. "That's why it was so shocking to see ... I wasn't expecting a fire."
As the smoke snaked upwards in negative-degree weather, Lakeville Fire Chief Mike Meyer declared a three-alarm fire in order to supplement his numbers. Over the course of the next few minutes, crews from multiple jurisdictions swarmed the 1800 block of Jasmine Way, just a few hours removed from Christmas.
"Any time we’re out in this cold weather it’s hard on not only on our people, but our equipment," Meyer said. "That’s why we went to three alarms--to get enough people out here to assist."
Even after the fire was extinguished and the scene calmed down, investigators remained there to sift through the wreckage and find clues to the fire's cause.
The State Fire Marshal is leading the investigation, along with a police detective trained in fire investigations.