Fire causes extensive damage to two Cottage Grove homesThe home of Mike and Patty Mace at 8310 Jasmine Ave. S., Cottage Grove is a total loss after a fire engulfed their home early Saturday morning. The fire also reached across the yard from the Mace garage, where the fire apparently started, to the home of Sheldon and Sue Mathena.
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
The home of Mike and Patty Mace at 8310 Jasmine Ave. S., Cottage Grove is a total loss after a fire engulfed their home early Saturday morning.
The fire also reached across the yard from the Mace garage, where the fire apparently started, to the home of Sheldon and Sue Mathena. The Mathena garage and half the home were severely damaged in the fire including one of two Mathena cars.
Jan Mahoney, who lives with her husband, Bill, across the street from the Mathena home, woke up from a heavy sleep, Jan recalled Saturday morning as the displaced fire victims and concerned neighbors talked about the fire.
Mahoney said she woke up and saw a “glowing ball” in her bedroom mirror. As she became fully awake, she realized it was a fire in the Mace home across the street.
“There were strange sounds and the fire was so high,” Jan said.
An initial call to 911 was made before 11:30 p.m.
When neighbors realized the fire was spreading to the Mathena home, they banged on the door to wake Sue and her sister, Sarah, who were sleeping, to get them out of the house. Sheldon was at work.
Mike Mace said his son, Michael, 17, had come upstairs to the main level of their one-story home to get a can of pop. Michael, according to his father, asked him if he smelled smoke.
Mike opened the inside door to the garage and saw flames. He kicked the door shut and ran to the lower level where his wife, Patty and two other children were and shut off the gas lines before getting everyone out of the home through a door in their walkout basement.
No one was hurt in either fire that apparently started in the Mace garage. Cottage Grove fire officials are investigating the exact cause but said Saturday morning that the cause might never be found.
There was a boat in the Mace garage that is a total loss in addition to Mike Mace's pickup truck that was in the driveway.
The Mace family stayed with Patty's sister who lives nearby and the Mathena family stayed with their daughter.
Both families were allowed to go through what remained of their homes about 11 a.m. Saturday, assisted by Cottage Grove firefighters.