Investigators are poring over the charred remains of a luxury home in the 8100 block of 134th Street West, which was partially destroyed by a fire on New Year's Day.
Apple Valley Fire Chief Nealon Thompson said at this point the structure is not considered a total loss, but that the damages will be well into the six figures.
"I would say it suffered a loss of half of its value, if not more," Thompson said. "We're talking about at least $500,000."
Thompson said the fire was called in at 2:11 p.m. By the time firefighters arrived, the home's garage was fully engulfed, with flames rapidly moving toward the main body of the house. A series of small explosions rocked the neighborhood as the flames ignited a 20-pound propane cylinder, vehicles tires and aerosol cans stored inside the garage. Ultimately, the three-alarm blaze spread to the home's roof.
All told, it took fire crews three hours to get the inferno under control, five to declare it out. Thompson said that 55 firefighters responded to the call, including additional crews from Burnsville and Eagan.
The home belongs to a family of six, all of whom were home at the time. Four adults, two children, a couple of dogs and a cat made it out of the burning structure safely. No injuries were reported.
The fire is still under investigation. No foul play is suspected. Thompson estimated that it would take investors at least a week to wrap up the case.
"There's lot of debris they we're digging through, and some additional investigators coming in (from the insurance companies)," Thompson said.