Weather Forecast


Woodbury home destroyed by fire

Woodbury firefighters sprayed foam on Saturday's Brittany Lane house fire. Submitted photo

The home of a former Woodbury firefighter was destroyed early Saturday, Oct. 6, after fire swept through the house.

The home, owned by retired Woodbury firefighter Tom Richardson, was a total loss, said Woodbury Fire Cmdr. John Wallgren.

Two people home at the time were able to escape the burning house, located at 2601 Brittany Lane. A pet cat succumbed to smoke inhalation, Wallgren said. A female resident was taken in for a medical evaluation, but was released, he said.

No firefighters were injured in the fire, which was first reported at 12:47 a.m. Saturday.

Wallgren said it appeared the fire started on or under the home's deck. As it burned, it grew so hot that it cracked a sliding glass door, the sound from which alerted the homeowner.

Firefighters arrived to find the house fully engulfed in flames - so much so that it was clear that a neighboring home was in jeopardy. Firefighters immediately put a hose on the neighboring home, which sustained severe damage to its siding.

The Richardson home, valued at $216,600, was a total loss, Wallgren said.

Complicating matters was the high wind present throughout the weekend.

"It became a factor," Wallgren said, noting that the wind kept embers live throughout the structure. "It was a very difficult fire to extinguish."

The residents were able to make arrangements with family members, he said.

Wallgren said the cause of the fire was still under investigation but was not suspected to be suspicious.

The fire occurred just hours after the fire chiefs of Washington County issued a countywide burning ban, which prohibited everything from recreational fires to fireworks.

"The Washington County Fire Chiefs are taking this extraordinary measure to help ensure the safety of our residents, " Deputy Fire Chief Alan Newman, president of the Washington County Fire Chiefs Association, said through a news release. "Conditions across the state, including all areas of Washington County, are favorable for significant grass and wild fires."

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

(715) 426-1072