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Neighbor credited for quick response to fire

Homeowner able to remove vehicles before they’re damaged

A residential fire Monday in Albert Lea destroyed a garage and damaged siding on the house of a property. The effects of the fire were lessened, however, due to the help of a neighbor.

Gary and Margaret Nelson, the owners of the house at 502 St. Peter Ave., said they were watching television when they were alerted to the fire.

“The back deck light came on … then all of a sudden, we heard banging on the door,” Gary Nelson said. “She (the neighbor) was out there excited, saying ‘your garage is on fire.’”

He said he then removed a snowblower and two vehicles from the garage before they could be damaged in the fire.

“We think it’s very good,” he said. “We are very happy with her for doing it.”

Albert Lea firefighters arrived on scene at about 5:51 p.m. and extinguished the fire, which began as a brush fire, in minutes Albert Lea Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Laskowske said.

The Nelson’s have lived on the property for 41 years and plan to continue doing so. The couple hopes to repair their property as soon as possible.

“It would be nice to get it into some other kind of garage before the snow flies, but I don’t think that is going to happen,” Gary Nelson said.

Damage is estimated at $13,000. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Albert Lea Police Department and Gold Cross Ambulance assisted on scene. Look to the Tribune for more information as it is released.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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