House Fire

Rochester firefighters battle a house fire at 1104 5th Ave. NW on Thursday. (Andrew Link / alink@postbulletin.com)

A blaze destroyed a garage and breezeway and damaged a connected house in northwest Rochester Thursday morning.

The fire occurred near 11th Street and Fifth Avenue Northwest, near a bike path along Cascade Creek. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames.

Standing in front of the house as firefighters packed up their gear, Rochester Police Sgt. Steve Thompson said five people were in the house when the fire started. "They were all evacuated safely," he said.

One person suffered minor burns.

Thompson could not say what caused the fire.

"The fire is under investigation," he said.

The single-car garage and breezeway were "total losses" and the house received extensive smoke damage.

The fire started in the garage and spread to the home through the breezeway. 

Hal Iverson was walking his dog nearby on 14th Street when he spotted smoke.

"At first I thought it was a campfire or maybe somebody was burning something in their backyard. Then I came around and saw the garage completely engulfed in flames," he said. "As I pulled out my phone to call 911, I heard the sirens coming this way."

Neighbors across the street said they were in their backyard when the flames erupted. They said the fire spread fast, engulfing the garage and spreading to the house within 10 minutes.

A firefighter at the scene was examined by medical personnel but did not sustain any injuries, according to the fire department's report.

RPU, Minnesota Energy, Rochester Police, Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service, and the American Red Cross all assisted at the scene. Fire officials estimate the house sustained heavy fire damage to 25 percent of the structure and had smoke and water damage throughout the rest of the structure.