A town of Troy home was heavily damaged by fire Thursday, Nov. 15. Firefighters dispatched at about 6:45 p.m., after a passer-by reported flames coming out of the front door of the house at 5 County Road U (Mann Lane).
According to a city of River Falls news release, 23 River Falls firefighters responded with a squad, two engines, a brush unit and two water tenders.
Hudson Fire also responded to provide additional water.
When fire crews arrived at about 6:54 p.m., the house was fully engulfed in flames. It took about 45 minutes to get the fire "knocked down," according to the release. Crews spent an additional two hours putting out spot fires within the walls.
Ellsworth Fire Department sent an engine and firefighters to stand by at the River Falls Fire Hall while River Falls firefighters fought the fire.
A total of 26 firefighters worked at the scene. River Falls EMS and the St. Croix County Sheriff 's Department also assisted.
All emergency responders were clear of the scene at 9:55 p.m.
There were no injuries to responders. However, the lone occupant in the house at the time of the fire suffered burns and was driven to the River Falls Hospital in a private vehicle before the fire department arrived.
According to St. Croix County records, the rental property is owned by Tony Hetchler of River Falls.
A GoFundMe has been started to support the Testaberg family, the residents of 5 County Road U (Mann Lane). According to the GoFundMe Page, Jody Testaberg was transported to Regions Hospital with severe burns; the rest of the family was reportedly uninjured. The GoFundMe account will support medical expenses, food, lodging and supplies as the family has been displaced by the fire.
Abbie Testaberg is the former owner of Dish and the Spoon Cafe, now called Selah Vie Bistro and Coffee Cottage. She is also one of this year's nominees for River Falls Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau's Citizen of the Year.
The house suffered extensive damage throughout the structure; estimates are unavailable at this time. The fire is suspected to have started in the kitchen and is still under investigation.