Fire damages garage in Park Rapids

According to Assistant Fire Chief Ben Cumber, firefighters saved both the structure and a vehicle parked inside.

Park Rapids firefighters work on extinguishing a fire Nov. 13, 2022 in a residential garage at 409 Main Ave. S. in Park Rapids.
Contributed / Lowell Wolff
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Park Rapids firefighters battled fire inside a garage Sunday morning on Main Avenue.

According to the Park Rapids Police Department, the fire department was paged out at 9:40 a.m. to a residence at 409 Main Ave. S., next to Bearly Used Thrift Store.

According to the Hubbard County geographic information system, the property is a single-family residence owned by Garrett Rautio and Mary Carlson.

“We got paged out to black smoke out of the garage,” said Assistant Fire Chief Ben Cumber. “Got on scene, witnessed heavy black smoke coming out of the garage, got in there, knocked it down.”

Cumber said a vehicle inside the garage took surprisingly little damage from the fire.


“We have no idea what caused the fire,” he said, “but it burned really hot in one portion of the garage, hot enough to melt an aluminum ladder. But we got it cleared out.”

Cumber said they spent over an hour looking for evidence of what caused the fire, without success. Some contents of the garage were destroyed, he said, but the structure itself is salvageable.

Two fire engines and a rescue truck responded to the scene, first spraying foam and then about 2,000 gallons of water on the fire, Cumber said.

“Because it’s deer season and we’re so shorthanded, we instantly called Menahga (for support),” he said, “but once we got on scene and realized what we had, we canceled them right away, because they’re stretched as thin as we are.”

No one was injured in the fire, Cumber reported, estimating that they cleared the scene in one-and-a-half to two hours.

“The fire went as good as a fire could go,” he said. “Our guys are really doing a good job. They’re pretty easy to run anymore. They know what to do, and they listen really well on the radio. It’s as good as our fire department’s ever been.”

A family home near Dorset is a total loss after a chimney fire spread to the attic and basement on Dec. 24.

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