Waconia house a total loss after rags spontaneously combust, causing fire

A family in Waconia, Minnesota is displaced and missing their dog after a house fire that is believed to have started after some rags spontaneously combusted in the garage. 

The fire started around 6:30 p.m. Thursday night in the attached garage of a home on the 400 block of Main Street. 

According to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, the homeowner had painted early in the day and used rags and turpentine to clean up. Deputies believe the turpentine-soaked rags spontaneously combusted, causing the fire in the garage.   

The homeowners, Jim and Joela Greenlund made it out of the house, but Joela ran back inside to try to save the family’s dog.  A neighbor, Willie Ford, went into the house and eventually pulled the homeowner out. 

“Because I care about them,” said Ford. “In this world, we all need. If people cared a little bit, or cared a little more, our world would be beautiful.”

Ford says he found Joela when they brushed past each other in the dark. There were some minor injuries, but no one needed hospital care.

“He knew that house was full of smoke,” said Jim Greenlund. “He went in and got her and dragged her out. I told him, I love him and thank you for saving my wife’s life.”

The home was determined to be a total loss. As of Friday morning, the sheriff’s office said the dog has not been located.