MAHTOMED, Minn. - Gusting winds fueled a fire that destroyed at least one home and damaged two others in Mahtomedi overnight Friday.
More than 100 firefighters from a number of metro departments battled the blaze, which destroyed a multi-million dollar lake home at 219 Park Avenue.
Cold winds off nearby White Bear Lake pushed the flames to a house just 6 feet away. That structure also caught fire, suffering significant damage to the roof and the third floor. A third house suffered more minor damage to the roof.
Early indications are that the blaze started on the deck of the first house and quickly spread.
"We had ashes and embers flying from the wind, very gusty off the lake," said Mahtomedi Fire Chief Terry Fischer.
Fischer added that no one was home inside the house that originally caught fire, and everyone made it safely out of the other two homes safe.
Fire crews patrolled nearby streets as large embers were blowing onto roofs and trees. The wind also fueled the fire, which burned fast and hot. The chief says visibility was a serious issue.
The homes are described as newer, multi million dollar structures so the loss is significant.
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