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Century-old Cottage Grove home destroyed in blaze

Flames destroyed a more than century-old Cottage Grove home Sunday night that was originally part of the famed Cedarhurst Mansion.

Cottage Grove fire crews responded to reports of smoke and flames at a home on Military Road at 10:40 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, finding the former carriage house to Cottage Grove's most famous residence swallowed in flames, according to Cottage Grove Fire Department Chief Bob Byerly.

Firefighters "saw heavy flames from the roof, the whole house engulfed," Byerly said. The house eventually collapsed in on itself, the chief said, as fire crews from Cottage Grove, Newport and St. Paul Park battled to contain the blaze.

Investigators from Cottage Grove public safety and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal will probe the cause of the fire. The extensive damage makes determining what sparked the blaze difficult, Byerly said.

"A lot of fires are very easy (to determine a cause)," Byerly said. "But this one, we'll probably have to dig through the debris to find out what may have caused it."

A state fire marshal spokesperson said Thursday the public safety division does not typically comment on ongoing fire investigations.

No one was in the residence at the time of the fire, public safety officials said. According to tax records, the carriage house homeowner resides in Stacy, Minn.

Cedarhurst Mansion is owned seperately.

The one-and-a-half story, 1,800-square-foot house was constructed in 1905, according to Washington County property records. It is currently listed for sale.

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