Fire destroys Cottage Grove home

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A fire that began in the garage of a Cottage Grove home quickly spread to the rest of the structure on Saturday evening, collapsing the roof and melting paint off of a black pickup parked in the driveway. The home's two occupants got out safely, along with a dog. 

Cottage Grove firefighers responded at 4:58 p.m. to reports of a vehicle on fire at 7262 Hidden Valley Terrace in Cottage Grove.

Units from Newport, St. Paul Park and Woodbury assisted.

There were no reported injuries, Cpt. Kevin Zittel of the Cottage Grove Fire Department said. Two firefighters were evaluated for heat-related illness. 

Zittel was one of the first on the scene. He was riding his motorcycle on 70th Street when he spotted the flames. 

"The fire was working from left to right," he said. 

Thick black smoke blotted out the sun in the cul de sac as exhausted firefighters worked in 80 plus degree heat. 

Brian Treber, who lives next door, circulated among the emergency personnel, handing out bottled water.

"We are absolutely heartbroken for them," he said of his neighbors. "And we're going to do everything we can for them."

In a Facebook post, Treber praised the efforts of Cottage Grove and the other three fire departments for containing the flames and preventing them from spreading to other homes. 

"They even worked to bring out several family heirloom antiques to save them from water damage as much as possible," he noted.

Firefighters on the scene included St. Paul Park firefighter Jeremy Bourasa, who had just gotten married that afternoon at the St. Paul Park Fire Station. He and his bride Krista Boland were posing for pictures when the call came in.