Wood burner cited as cause of Wednesday fire

Published 6:30 pm Saturday, February 23, 2013

A malfunction in an exhaust system of a wood burner appears to have started a fire Wednesday that damaged a home on Swanhill Drive, according to an Albert Lea Fire Department official.

The wood burner was in the basement of the house, at 1309 Swanhill Drive, but the exhaust venting goes up through the house, between two bedrooms and then out the top of the house through the roof, said Albert Lea Fire Capt. Lee DeVries.

The fire began near the vent enclosure between the two bedrooms.

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Officials were alerted to the blaze shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday after one of the home’s owners called and reported the fire.

More than a dozen firefighters responded to extinguish the fire.

DeVries said both of the home’s owners, Dennis and Jo Lowe, were home at the time, but were able to get out of the house safely.

Fire damaged about half of the main level, particularly the southeast corner and up into the attic and roof, he said. Smoke damage was reported throughout the entire house.

He did not have the estimated amount of damage the house sustained, but noted as of Thursday, the Lowes stated they planned to repair the damages.