Fire damages house; woman treated, released
Published 11:21 am Thursday, October 9, 2014
Crowded outlet caused blaze
A house in southern Albert Lea was damaged by fire Wednesday morning in what appeared to have started from an overcrowded electrical outlet, according to authorities.
One cat perished, and a woman was transported by Gold Cross Ambulance crews to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea with minor injury.
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Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Levisen said the woman was treated and released from the hospital.
Albert Lea Fire Department Capt. Mark Light said the fire, at 1428 Academy Ave., was reported at 8:28 a.m. Light said it began in the living room in the front of the house, and firefighters could see heavy smoke coming out of the front window on the main level when they arrived.
The smoke traveled throughout the entire house and could also be seen coming out of portions of the top level.
Light said the woman was upstairs in one of the bedrooms when the fire began and was able to safely exit the house before firefighters arrived.
Neighbors stated she had been inside sleeping.
There was one smoke detector in the home at the time of the fire on the second floor, but it was not operating.
The family that owns the house could not be reached. Freeborn County property records stated the house was owned by Kenneth and Wilda VanRiper, but police stated they did not think the property listing was updated. A Tribune obituary says Kenneth died in October 2009 and says his wife preceded him in death.
The fire came during Fire Prevention Week. An Albert Lea Fire Department news release encouraged people to check their smoke detectors, change batteries and practice a home escape plan.
If people have questions about how many smoke detectors should be in a house, they can call the Fire Department at 377-4347.