Fire officials search for cause of Rochester duplex fire - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Fire officials search for cause of Rochester duplex fire

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Rochester fire officials searched through ashes and charred belongings Monday for the cause of the fire that tore through the bottom level of a home and left four people finding another place to stay.

Josh Rose had just bought his home in Rochester less than two months ago, and after spending those last two months painting, remodeling, and replacing much of the duplex's downstairs interior - he's being forced to start over.

"He was like, I heard your house is on fire, and I was like 'what'!?" Rose said Monday.

Crews were called to 826 East Center Street just after midnight early Sunday morning. No one was home on the bottom level, where the fire broke out, but resident Alex Veltchev was rescued from a second floor window.

"We had an individual from the upper floor motioning that someone was up there, so we had a ladder placed against the building to remove that individual," Rochester fire officials said.

Veltchev's apartment has smoke damage, but the destruction downstairs is much worse.

Rose was in still in the middle of renovating the house, a project he says he put hours into before it was all burned away.

"It was a lot of fun as my first house, and remodeling it. I saw the trim through the window and I was like 'oh man,' I liked painting that and the real old trim. The house is 113 years old," Rose told KTTC.

Rose's insurance company will be sending an investigator this week. Until then, there are no exact numbers on how much the damage was done to the house.

"I know how much I paid for the house, and I know that half of it's destroyed," Rose said. "Probably have to be gutted and remodeled. You know, on the main level there. But it's rebuildable."

There's no word on what caused the fire just yet but officials are focusing their investigation on the living room of the home, where things were burnt the worst.

Fire crews are waiting to work with insurance investigators sometime later this week to get a final cause of the accident.

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