Dogs found deceased after house fire Friday in rural Albany, Minnesota

A couple of dogs were found deceased after firefighters responded to a house fire reported Friday in Farming Township. The two homeowners were not in the house at the time of the fire, according to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

Firefighters respond to a house fire reported Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, in Farming Township of Stearns County. The rural Albany homeowners were not there at the time.
Steve Romstad / Stearns County Sheriff's Office

FARMING TOWNSHIP — An off-duty firefighter reported a fire Friday afternoon in rural Albany after seeing smoke coming from a residence.

The firefighter knocked on the doors attempting to alert any occupants. A Stearns County sheriff's deputy arrived on the scene in the 30700 block of Stearns County Road 41 in Farming Township and together they were able to determine no one was in the home, according to a news release from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.

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Fire destroyed Midwest Machinery and forced temporary evacuation of residents near the site along Minnesota Highway 40 in Madison.
Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Tuesday the new installation of LED warning signs at the intersection of Minnesota Highway 23 and Minnesota Highway 9. The move is a temporary improvement for an ongoing traffic safety study.
After residents from 17 homes were evacuated Tuesday night, and with assistance from 23 different agencies, firefighters were able to control a blaze at Midwest Machinery in Madison, Minnesota. A citywide water restriction was enacted. Evacuees have since been allowed back in their homes.

The fire was reported about 4:45 p.m. Friday. The homeowners, 38-year-old Brandon Cruz and 37-year-old Heather Cruz, arrived after being notified about the fire. They told firefighters that there were “a couple of dogs inside,” according to the release.

The dogs were later found deceased in the basement of the house.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal.


The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Albany Fire Department, Avon Fire Department, St. Martin Fire Department and Melrose Ambulance Service.

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