Fire destroys home in Freeborn County


FREEBORN CO., Minn. – A southern Minnesota couple is without a home after an early morning fire.

Crews were dispatched around 1:09 a.m. Monday morning to find flames shooting from a Freeborn County home.

Greg and Maureen Riley called the house at 81030 320th Street east of Geneva home before the fire destroyed it.

The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office said that the initial investigation has them thinking a hot charcoal grill located in the garage is to blame.

Geneva was the primary fire department on scene, but they had help from Ellendale, Hollandale, Clarks Grove and the Blooming Prairie fire departments.

“We need the state fire marshal’s office to investigate, sign off on that. That likely is in the process [Mon]day, it doesn’t mean that there’s anything different than what we suspect to be the cause, it just means that it’s a formality,” said Freeborn County Sheriff Bob Kindler.

He said the couple was grilling earlier in the night and kept it outside to cool for a while. Maureen then moved it inside around 10 p.m. Sunday night.

American Red Cross volunteers from Freeborn County also responded to the fire.

“As soon as we know that there is a structure fire, involving a house especially, we do contact the Red Cross immediately for family placement. Sometimes the family has other arrangements and they can take advantage of living with relatives for a while,” Kindler said.

They are helping with the needs of the couple including supplying food and clothing.


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