SPICER, Minn. -- A man is in critical condition today after suffering burn injuries Monday night in a fire that destroyed a rural Spicer home. Two other occupants escaped by jumping out of a second story window.
According to reports from fire and law enforcement officials, the injured man is David Lindner, 70, a roommate of the homeowner.
Spicer Fire Chief Mike Holme said Lindner was reported to have severe burns to his arms, hands and face. He was taken by New London ambulance Monday night to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar and then transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Hospital spokeswoman Christine Hill said this morning that Lindner is in critical condition in the HCMC burn unit.
Local officials said homeowner Stephen Sarafolean, 52, and his girlfriend, Sandra Jane Davis, 56, were not injured.
Holme said Sarafolean and Davis were in the upstairs loft of the house when they smelled smoke. Thinking it was a campfire next door, they closed the windows.
When the smell persisted they opened the upstairs bedroom door and a "big flash of flames" erupted, said Holme, adding that the entire main floor of the house was engulfed.
Sarafolean lowered Davis out the window, who dropped about 10 feet to the ground. Sarafolean then "shimmied" out the window to the ground where he saw Lindner on the deck with severe burns, Holme said.
The fire was reported at 9:30 p.m. Monday at 4317 133rd Ave. N.E, on the west side of Nest Lake.
Fueled by strong southerly winds that gusted to 25 to 30 mph, the house was engulfed in flames by the time crews arrived, according to Holme.
"The whole house is a loss," he said.
A dog also died in the blaze.
The fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal. Foul play is not suspected.
The Spicer Fire Department, New London Fire Department, Kandiyohi County Rescue Squad, Spicer First Responders, New London Ambulance and Willmar Ambulance responded to the scene.
Crews were on the scene for about three hours.
Susan Lunneborg contributed to this report.