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Family of four escapes fire that gutted rural Osage home

Justin Price stands outside his Osage home, which was gutted by fire Sunday night. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Nine hours after flames gutted his new wood home, Justin Price greeted friends, an insurance adjuster and others while he pondered the irony of how a firefighter's residence went up in smoke.

"I have no clue" how it started, Price said Monday morning standing outside of his rural Osage home.

"I called the fire marshal," he added, to prevent a conflict of interest in investigating his own fire.

The cozy contents of his family's life were smelly debris strewn all over the yard. Mounds of shredded insulation covered the yard, adding to the gloom.

It was 11:40 p.m. Sunday when Price and his wife were going to sleep for the night.

The kids, ages 3 and a newborn, were asleep.

The smoke smell was noticeable.

The family rushed to save the kids, the furnishings and keepsakes while Justin's fellow Carsonville firefighters raced to the scene on Becker County Road 47.

Carsonville chief Roger Wilson immediately called for mutual aid from Park Rapids and Wolf Lake.

He said when the fire spread into the rafters and began burning insulation, the squad needed help.

"We did save some belongings," Wilson said. "We were able to get the picture albums" and other personal items.

Price works in the pipeline industry, traveling for a living.

Monday, he stood put in his driveway, looking haggard. He hadn't been to sleep all night.

He left the fire scene Monday to check on his sleeping children who are staying with in-laws.

The interior of the home looks as if a bomb went off.

Wilson said the squad has narrowed the possible cause to a mechanical room.

Price said he built the wood home three years ago. He hasn't given any thought to a benefit fund or what the family will need.

His furniture sat in a steady drizzle Monday looking forlorn.

"I guess we'll start all over again," he said sadly.