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Fire destroys farmhouse near Cormorant

This farmhouse east of Cormorant was destroyed by a fire late Friday afternoon. (Jason Adkins/Detroit Lakes Newspapers)2 / 2

CORMORANT - A fire destroyed a farmhouse located about a mile east of Cormorant late Friday afternoon.

With winds kicking up to around 15 miles per hour and light snow rolling into the area, Lake Park and Audubon firefighters had a difficult time fighting the blaze at 10402 SW Townline Road that started at approximately 4:30 p.m.

"There's not much left here," said Lake Park firefighter Keith Zachariason. "It was fully engulfed when we got here. The flames were through the roof."

It took at least 30 minutes for firefighters to appear at the scene, said Nathan Mahler, a nephew of the homeowner, Brian Kihn. County Highway 11 was clear of most snow and ice, but some portions of the road were slick.

Complicating the effort was the lack of a fire hydrant near the home. Several fire trucks were brought in and a water tank was set up.

Kihn said he's glad everyone was out of the house where he lives with his father and mother.

He was with his mother in Moorhead traveling back home when he received a call telling him that his house was on fire. His father was at Kihn's sister's home just down the road.

"Normally we lie down, take a nap and recuperate for a while," Kihn said. "We would have been in the doggone thing."

Kihn said that if he was home at the time, it would have been difficult to get out as he is in a wheelchair.

"I don't know what would have happened if we were home," Kihn said.

Kihn and the firefighters at the scene don't know the exact cause just yet.

Zachariason said that the Kihn family told firefighters that it started near the kitchen stove.

"They indicated that the fire started somewhere near the kitchen stove furnace area," Zachariason said.

Mahler ended up taking video footage of the fire with his cell phone.

"Those cameras are good for something," Zachariason said.

Kihn and his parents will be staying at his sister and brother-in-law's home for the time being.