BRAINERD, Minn. -- A Brainerd police officer rescued a 65-year-old woman from a burning home Thursday night, July 1, in northeast Brainerd.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m., police and Brainerd firefighters responded to a 911 call reporting a kitchen fire at the home on the 700 block of H Street with a woman inside who was unable to exit the residence on her own.

Police Officer Grant Larson was first on the scene and saw smoke coming from the home with the front door ajar. Larson entered the home and through the smoke, found the woman on the couch. He pulled her from the home to the front yard, where North Memorial Health Ambulance personnel soon began providing medical aid.

Brainerd firefighters attend to still-smoking items pulled from a house fire Thursday night, July 1, 2021, on the 700 block of H Street in northeast Brainerd. Chelsey Perkins / Brainerd Dispatch
Brainerd firefighters attend to still-smoking items pulled from a house fire Thursday night, July 1, 2021, on the 700 block of H Street in northeast Brainerd. Chelsey Perkins / Brainerd Dispatch

Brainerd Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Rubado said firefighters arrived while the woman was still outside lying in the front yard. Crews quickly extinguished the blaze as neighbors looked on. The woman, meanwhile, was transported to Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd to be treated for smoke inhalation. Her condition was unknown Thursday night.

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“The PD (police department) are the heroes tonight,” Rubado said while firefighters attended to still-smoking items they’d removed from the home in the backyard. He noted the cause was not yet known, nor was the extent of the damage, but the fire appeared to originate in the kitchen. He estimated property loss to be between $15,000 and $20,000, including smoke damage throughout the home.

The woman’s husband was not home at the time of the fire. The police department was working with the American Red Cross late Thursday to make arrangements for alternative shelter.