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Firefighter injured in house fire

An Oakdale firefighter was injured early Tuesday morning in a house fire in Woodbury that rekindled after it was believed to have been extinguished.

According to Woodbury Public Safety officials, the firefighter was part of a team of responders from Oakdale and Maplewood who were providing mutual aid assistance to the fire at home on the 7100 block of Windgate Drive.

He was injured inside the home when a portion of the ceiling collapsed. The firefighter was transported to Regions Hospital and was treated and released for minor injuries, said Woodbury deputy public safety director Todd Johnson.

The fire initially broke out at the residence, located just east of Woodlane Drive and south of Valley Creek Road, around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and was reported as a grass fire that spread to the garage, Johnson said.

Four residents were in the home at the time the fire was reported and escaped without injury, Johnson said.

A team of 40 Woodbury firefighters responded to the blaze and had it controlled within 25 minutes of their arrival, Johnson said.

The firefighters spent the next three hours cleaning up the scene and monitoring the fire to prevent any rekindling, a Woodbury Public Safety press release stated.

Thermal imagery devices were used to resolve any "hotspots," Johnson said.

Fire crews left the scene at 3:30 a.m., but were called back at 5 a.m. when the house was reported to be in flames.

Woodbury Public Safety officials then sent their available crews back to the scene and called for mutual aid assistance. Oakdale and Maplewood firefighters responded to the call and fought along side Woodbury firefighters to extinguish the second fire, but durin the effort to put out the fire, the Oakdale firefighter was inside the home when a portion of the ceiling collapsed.

He was struck in the helmet by sheetrock, the press release stated.

He was transported to Regions Hospital and released after evaluation. No permanent injury is suspected, Johnson said.

The home was estimated to be a total loss. Early investigation points to a portable fire pit in the yard as a possible cause of the fire, Johnson said.

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