Weather Forecast


‘It’s all gone’: Leaf Lake home goes up in flames Thursday afternoon

Howard Ellingson and Carmen Walter watch as Ellingson's house goes up in smoke. Meagan Pittelko/Tribune 1 / 5
The house, which was attached to the garage, quickly went up in flames as well. Meagan Pittelko/Tribune 2 / 5
The smoke was visible from about five miles away. Meagan Pittelko/Tribune 3 / 5
Ellingson's garage lies in shambles. Meagan Pittelko/Tribune 4 / 5
Neighbors watch the blaze. Meagan Pittelko/Tribune 5 / 5

Howard Ellingson sat in a lawn chair in his front yard and watched helplessly as his Leaf Lake home burned down this afternoon.

Ellingson says he was watching television when he noticed smoke billowing outside his window—that’s when he knew he better get out of the residence, located on the 15000 block of Buckhorn Road, just across the bay from Hooligans Lakeside.

“I was at bible study,” said Ellingson’s girlfriend, Carmen Walter, who sat in a chair next to him, watching smoke pour from the house. “I’m just glad he (Ellingson) got out.”

The couple said they are the only two people who live in the house, which is their permanent residence. Although, Walter does have her own home. No one else was in the house at the time of the fire—and the couple has no pets—so no one was injured, luckily.

“He’s safe, but it’s the memories that will get him,” Walter said, adding that Ellingson built the house himself some 17 years ago. “We’re anxious to see how bad it is inside.”

“I wanted to go in there, but they (fire fighters) won’t let me,” said Ellingson, letting out a sigh.

The fire, which started just after 2 p.m. and was contained around 3 p.m., began in the garage, they believe. Though neither Ellingson or Walter could say what they think caused it yet.

“He’s a very neat person,” said Walter. “Everything is hanging in its place.”

The fire also claimed Ellingson’s car, which was parked in the garage.

“That’s gone, too,” said Ellingson. “It’s all gone.”