Fire damage is visible from the southeast corner of a home at 1309 Swanhill Drive this morning. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune
Fire damage is visible from the southeast corner of a home at 1309 Swanhill Drive this morning. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Updated: House in Albert Lea catches fire

Published 7:07pm Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More than a dozen Albert Lea city and township firefighters responded to a fire in a home Wednesday evening on Swanhill Drive.

Spotlights from an Albert Lea city firetruck light up a house at 1309 Swanhill Drive Wednesday evening. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune
Spotlights from an Albert Lea city firetruck light up a house at 1309 Swanhill Drive Wednesday evening. — Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Firefighters were called to 1309 Swanhill Drive at 6:06 p.m. after receiving a call from one of the home’s owners who stated there was a fire in a bedroom at the residence, said Albert Lea Public Safety Director Dwaine Winkels. It is unclear how many people were home at the time.

No one was injured.

Smoke rises from the back of a home at 1309 Swanhill Drive Wednesday evening as firefighters battle a fire at the residence. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune
Smoke rises from the back of a home at 1309 Swanhill Drive Wednesday evening as firefighters battle a fire at the residence. — Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea Fire Capt. Lee DeVries said when firefighters arrived at the home, they could see heavy smoke coming from the house, and in one of the rooms, the heat had broken the windows out and flames were billowing out.

He estimated there was fire damage in probably half of the main level, and the whole house sustained severe smoke damage. Though not much damage was visible from the front yard, the damage was visible from the back southeast corner of the home. He said firefighters had to pull a lot of the ceiling out in the home to reach smoldering insulation.

Winkels said the official cause of the fire is still unknown, though is likely a supplemental heating source contributed.

DeVries said fire investigators will be at the house today investigating.

He said all shifts were called in to help at the scene because of the initial information received by the first officer who arrived at the house.

A pile of insulation lays in the front yard of 1309 Swanhill Drive this morning after firefighters battled a blaze at the house Wednesday night. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune
A pile of insulation lays in the front yard of 1309 Swanhill Drive this morning after firefighters battled a blaze at the house Wednesday night. — Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

“It turned out it was good we did,” he said. “We cycled through everybody. It took a lot of hands-on labor getting that insulation pulled through.”

Winkels said the home is owned by Dennis and Jo Lowe. Dennis works for the city of Albert Lea, and Jo is the executive director of the Arc of Freeborn County.

The family is being assisted by the Freeborn-Mower County chapter of the American Red Cross.