Two homes destroyed by fire on Devil Track Lake

Cook County Law Enforcement received an emergency call from Devil Track Landing at about 5 p.m. last night, Wednesday, June 12, 2013 reporting a house fire on Firewood Lane. When Maple Hill and Grand Marais fire departments arrived on the scene the house was fully engulfed and flames were spreading to the soffit of the house next door.
The caller who reported the blaze was Tony Everson, another Devil Track Lake resident. Everson said he had taken his motorcycle out for a drive. He passed Fireweed Lane to go to the Devil Track General Store and saw nothing amiss. When he headed home a few minutes later, he saw flames coming out of the roof of the house. Everson told the Cook County News-Herald, “I was just riding by on my Harley and I saw the flames—they were about 60 feet high!” He went to Devil Track Landing and called 911.

The Maple Hill and Grand Marais Fire Departments responded called for mutual aid. With only a handful of firefighters, Cook County Sheriff Deputies were pressed into service manning hoses until backup from Lutsen, Tofte, Colvill, and Hovland fire departments arrived.  A U.S. Forest Service firefighting crew also responded to assist, batting down spot fires that sprang up around the roaring house fire, endangering yet another home at 221 Fireweed Lane.

As the 223 Fireweed Lane home crumbled, firefighters tried to save 225 Fireweed Lane. Firefighters attacked the fire from inside and out, from the ground and from the roof. As they did at the Bluefin Bay Resort fire, Cook County Ambulance stood by, keeping firefighters hydrated and ensuring they were not overcome by heat or smoke.

Firefighters were eventually able to knock the fire down and when the fire departments were cleared from the scene at around 11 p.m., the house was still standing, but with extensive damage. It is likely the house is a total loss.

Neither property owner was in Cook County when the fire broke out. Ron Thorud, owner of 223 Fireweed Lane where the fire originated, lives in Savage, Minnesota.
Timothy and Marie Russell, owners of 225 Fireweed Lane live in Campbell, California.