Morning thunderstorm causes house fire to spread to 2nd home


Thunderstorms caused a house fire to spread to a neighboring home in Otsego early Sunday morning, and now neighbors say both homes are a total loss.

The fire started at a home on the 12400 block of 76th Street Northeast around 6 a.m., Albertville Fire Chief Eric Bullen told BringMeTheNews.

When officials got to the scene, the rear of the home was fully engulfed in flames, Bullen said, noting the extremely high heat and strong winds that accompanied the storms caused the fire to spread to a neighboring home.

This embed is invalid

Joe Meinhardt, who lives across the street from scene of the fire, told the Star Tribune he heard a crack of thunder before 6 a.m., noting it looked like lighting hit three houses and "just jumped from house to house."

The State Fire Marshals Office is investigating the cause of the fire, Bullen said, but he did not confirm neighbors' reports that lightning caused the initial fire.

Everyone in both houses got out safely and no injuries were reported, Bullen says, with the Star Tribune reporting the family in the second home was hosting a sleepover for their kids.

Community rallies around neighbors

Both homes suffered a lot of damage. Bullen called damage to the home where the fire started "extensive," while neighbors who set up a GoFundMe page for the family said the house was a total loss.

The fire caused "significant" damage to the second home, Bullen notes, and neighbors who set up a GoFundMe page for that family said they're looking at a total loss because of the fire and smoke damage.

The community quickly rallied around the two families, creating fundraising pages and gathering clothes, shoes and other items to help them, according to posts in St. Michael Albertville Bulletin Board Facebook group.

The GoFundMe page for the family who lives in the house that initially started on fire was just $200 short of its goal within two hours of the campaign being created, while the page set up for the second family had raised more than $6,500 in two hours.

Bullen added that the Red Cross has been notified to help the families affected by the fire.

In a news release, the Red Cross said it was helping another Twin Cities family following an apartment fire in North Minneapolis Sunday. Following fires, volunteers with the organization meet with victims to provide help with any emergency needs, as well as offer emotional support and assistance with long-term recovery planning, according to the Red Cross's website.

Next Up

Flickr - SIMULIIDAE black fly gnat - D. Sikes

South Twin Cities metro besieged by aggressive gnats

Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has received more than 100 calls in recent days.

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater criticizes Panthers' practice habits

The former Vikings quarterback was not a fan of his time in Carolina.

Associate wearing PPE 2

Amazon will give $100 to new hires who are fully vaccinated against COVID

The company is hoping to hire 1,300 people in Minnesota.


1 killed, 1 injured after being ejected from 3-wheel motorcycle

The pair was ejected after the motorcycle left the roadway.

Alex Rodriguez

Reports: Agreement in place to sell Wolves, Lynx to A-Rod, Lore

The deal was first reported to be in the works on April 10.

santa rosa vandalism suspects

3 accused of vandalizing former home of Chauvin defense witness arrested

Police believe more people may have been involved in the vandalism.

BMTN image - Trail closed signs on West River Parkway near Hennepin Avenue Bridge -

Listen: 'Trail Closed' sign plays X-rated message, to shock of pedestrians

The speaker is supposed to play a "Trail closed" message. Instead, it played filth.

lane-kueng-thao - edit

Trial of 3 ex-officers charged in George Floyd's death delayed to 2022

This comes after the U.S. Department of Justice filed charges against the officers last week.

Target Field

Twins: Target Field to return to 100% capacity from July 5

The Twins are increasing capacity for its May and June games, too.