Arson Suspected in New Ulm Fire 01 May 12

A fire that destroyed a home in the New Ulm Mobile Village early Monday morning is being investigated as a possible case of arson.

The fire at the residence of Dave Brateng was reported at shortly after midnight, and neighboring residents were initially unable to determine if Brateng was home at the time. He was reportedly found about 3 hours later walking barefoot down Highway 15 about a half-mile away. Authorities say he willingly went with police to a health-care facility.

Brateng’s home was destroyed by the fire, as well as his van and scooter that were parked in the driveway. Neighboring trailers suffered minor damage as well.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and a state arson investigator has been called in to look at the damage.