By Shannon Granholm, The Citizen:
A Hugo man has been charged in connection to a house fire that injured a firefighter last month. Daniel Joe Lewandowski, 39, was charged April 25 with first-degree arson of a dwelling, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Around midnight on Wednesday, April 24, the Hugo Fire Department (HFD) was dispatched to the scene of a structure fire that started in the basement of a home in the 5600 block of 141st Street N. Upon arrival, Chief Kevin Colvard said firefighters found that all five occupants of the home had already evacuated. Although there were no visible flames when HFD arrived, it “didn’t take long for the fire to make itself known.”
HFD worked the scene with assistance from the Forest Lake and White Bear Lake Fire Departments as well as the Centennial Fire District until around 5 a.m. Colvard described the fire as a “total loss,” as the first floor collapsed along with the roof, which fell into the basement. Colvard added the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but arson has not been ruled out.