(Brandon, MN) Fire Fighters fought against more than flames Sunday night during a fire at the Long Lake Lodge near Brandon. The Douglas County Sheriff's Department received a call at 10:50pm reporting a possible multiple-structure fire at the lodge. Long Lake Lodge is located on a frontage road just south of I-94 on the west side of the Brandon interchange (milepost 90).
Brandon Fire Chief Scott Schaefer says getting to the lodge was the first obstacle. Wind and snow made huge drifts across the road to the lodge. They were forced to wait several minutes for the road to get blown out so they could proceed. Once firefighters were on the scene, they realized the main lodge was the only building fully engulfed in flames. Schaefer says they were able to save the banquet hall adjacent to the lodge, leaving only minimal damage; however the extreme cold temperatures caused connections on the tanker trucks to freeze up throughout the night. Air temperatures during the fire efforts entered into the -20's. Initial reports do not indicate foul play, but a full investigation is underway. No one was staying in the lodge at the time of the fire.
Fire Units from Brandon, Garfield, Evansville and Kensington provided mutual aid. The Douglas County Sheriff's Department, State Patrol and North Ambulance assisted. Authorities believe the fire was not reported any sooner because of the lack of traffic on the nearby roadways(I-94 was closed).