Watkins House Fire 21 Jan 13

A rural Watkins home was destroyed by fire and one person suffered minor burns Sunday evening.

Just before 7pm, the Meeker County Sheriffs Office received a report of and responded to a house fire at 65510 330th Street, Watkins, and that all of occupants of the house were going outside.

Through the investigation, authorities say it was determined that the fire started in the north east part of the basement. The owner of the house, 61-year-old Jeffrey Brandl stated that he was working on a motorcycle in the basement of the house. He said when he removed a gas tank off of the motorcycle, there was still some gas inside. After the tank was taken off, he thought that some gas had leaked out near a wood burning stove and caught fire. 47-year-old Dianna Ertl, who resides at the residence suffered minor burns to her right arm when the gas tank caught fire. She was treated on scene.

Watkins, Litchfield, and Dassel Fire Departments responded to the scene and worked five hours to extinguish the blaze.

Authorities say the house suffered heavy damage from the fire and it is unknown if any property inside will be salvageable.

Brandl said he believed the house was worth around $189,000. He says the house is insured and, with the amount of damage, its believed to be a complete loss.