Pole building burns to the ground


The fire scene at 7208 Aspen Road
The fire scene at 7208 Aspen Road

Retired Princeton firefighter Russ Wicktor is used to responding to fires and putting them out.

But in the early morning of December 27 Wicktor was the victim of a serious fire.

A pole shed and its contents at 7208 Aspen Road — located east of Princeton in rural Mille Lacs County — were lost to fire in the blaze.

Princeton firefighters were called to the scene at 1:32 a.m., according to Princeton Fire Chief Jim Roxbury. Roxbury, the first firefighter on the scene, arrived to find the shed to be fully engulfed in fire.

“It was called in by a passerby. It had been burning quite a while,” Roxbury said.

It had a pretty good head start on us,” he said.

The Northeast Sherburne Fire Department (Baldwin Fire) was called in to assist.Firefighters were on scene until about 5 a.m., he said.

Four hours later, at about 9 a.m., smoke was still coming from a wood pile located at what would have been behind the shed.

The building was heated by a wood stove, Roxbury said.

The cause of fire was not yet determined as of Thursday morning, Roxbury said.

A van, tractors and lots of equipment were also lost in the fire.