Firefighters save a house in Park Rapids

A residential garage fire on Discovery Circle threatened the attached house on Nov. 22, while wind-borne smoke forced the evacuation of a neighboring home.

Park Rapids firefighters clear the scene after responding to a fire Nov. 22, 2022 at a residence on Discovery Circle.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
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The Park Rapids Fire Department called in the Menahga Fire Department for aid Tuesday at a residential fire on Discovery Circle in Park Rapids.

Assistant Fire Chief Ben Cumber was the first on the scene. He said Park Rapids fire personnel were paged out to a garage fire at 10:01 a.m.
“We called in Menahga for mutual aid,” he said, noting that this is standard practice on structure fires.

Upon arrival, he said, they found heavy black smoke rolling out of the garage at 16172 Discovery Circle, with “minimal extension into the house, and we were able to get it knocked down on the garage fire before it burned up the house.”

Cumber said the garage’s structure is probably salvageable, but its contents are a total loss. Regarding the suspected cause of the fire, he said there was speculation that a portable heater was involved, “but the fire marshal is going to be going to be there and conducting an investigation, and he’ll have a more accurate answer.”

During the fire response, residents were evacuated from the neighboring house to the east due to smoke being carried on the wind.


No one was hurt, Cumber said. “All of the occupants of the house made it outside. Fire (personnel) conducted a primary and secondary search of the structure to confirm. No fire personnel were injured, to my knowledge.

It took less than 1,000 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze, he said. “Thankfully, all the doors in the garage were closed. Anytime you’ve got closed doors, it’s a big plus for (controlling) a fire.”

Also responding to the scene were North Memorial Health Ambulance and the Park Rapids Police Department. Cumber estimated that six fire apparatus, and ambulance and two squad cars attended the scene, with 20-25 total personnel.

Cumber said firefighters and cleared the scene by about 11:15 a.m.

“I think things went very well. It was a good day for the fire department. We did save the house. It was only minutes from catching fire, but we got it stopped in time. A big thank you to Menahga Fire for always coming up and helping whenever we need anything.”

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

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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