On Friday, June 10, emergency personnel from the Montevideo Fire Department and the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a garage fire at 5006 Highview Drive, southeast of Montevideo.

On Friday, June 10, emergency personnel from the Montevideo Fire Department and the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a garage fire at 5006 Highview Drive, southeast of Montevideo.

The residence is owned by Brian Reinert, manager of Minnwest Bank in Montevideo. At the time of the fire, Reinert and his family were out of town.

The call to 911 came in at 2:46 p.m., and was phoned in by a neighbor who noticed flames coming from the garage, which was not attached to the house.

Upon arriving at the scene, emergency personnel found the garage engulfed in flames.

Montevideo Fire Department Chief Dave Roelike said that his firefighters were preparing to fight the blaze, unaware of the proximity of a propane tank that was located behind the garage.

“We had guys on the opposite side of the garage when the tank blew,” he said. “It was exciting!”  

Sheriff Stacy Tufto was securing the area when he walked around to the rear of the garage and noticed a large propane tank. “I could hear a relief valve hissing,” he said. “I backed away from the tank and  a moment later, it blew.”

The explosion was heard in Montevideo and blew debris high into the air, some of which landed on a neighbor’s garage. The force of the blast actually helped to extinguish the blaze.


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