Retired Princeton firefighter Russ Wicktor is used to responding to fires and putting them out.
But in the early morning of December 27 Wicktor was the victim of a serious fire.
A pole shed and its contents at 7208 Aspen Road — located east of Princeton in rural Mille Lacs County — were lost to fire in the blaze.
Princeton firefighters were called to the scene at 1:32 a.m., according to Princeton Fire Chief Jim Roxbury. Roxbury, the first firefighter on the scene, arrived to find the shed to be fully engulfed in fire.
“It was called in by a passerby. It had been burning quite a while,” Roxbury said.
It had a pretty good head start on us,” he said.
The Northeast Sherburne Fire Department (Baldwin Fire) was called in to assist.Firefighters were on scene until about 5 a.m., he said.
Four hours later, at about 9 a.m., smoke was still coming from a wood pile located at what would have been behind the shed.
The building was heated by a wood stove, Roxbury said.
The cause of fire was not yet determined as of Thursday morning, Roxbury said.
A van, tractors and lots of equipment were also lost in the fire.