HUGO (WCCO) — Firefighters from six different departments worked through the night battling a fierce fire that destroyed a large house in Hugo Sunday night.
Making their work even tougher, firefighters were having to bring in water from miles away because there are no fire hydrants in the immediate area.
It is not unusual at all in rural areas not to have hydrants nearby, but the consequences can be devastating.
The fire that could be seen for miles raged for hours while 70 firefighters from six departments worked through the night to contain the blaze.
Firefighters had to fill up tanker trucks at a fire hydrant about three miles away at an intersection on Goodview Avenue North and Egg Lake Road North.
According to Jerry Scudder, who lives near that hydrant, “it was continuous for about three hours.”
Dan and Gail Galvin built the now destroyed home as a dream home 15 years ago. They were out for dinner when the fire started.
They returned to see their home in flames. The couples’ cat and dog were in the garage, but firefighters said it was too dangerous to knock down the door to get the animals out. Both pets died. Their daughter says the couple is devastated.
“Their dream home, their pets and everything,” she said.
A daytime view sees the remnants of a charred Jaguar in the garage. Dan Galvin says his parents were too shaken to talk but want to thank firefighters.
Galvin says it’s unclear where the fire started.
“As far as I know, the house had no electrical issues. They don’t know if it was laundry room, garage — there is really no idea,” he said.
Fire officials say they are not sure what caused this fire and, because of the intensity of the blaze, they may never find out.
Dan Galvin said his parents were well aware that this area like so many rural areas don’t have fire hydrants.
WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy Reports