PINE ISLAND, Minn. – Authorities say a woman was assaulted and then taken to a home which was then set on fire Thursday morning fire in Pine Island.
Firefighters were called to the 1000 block of 7th Avenue SW around 5:15 am and arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the first and second-story windows of the structure. Because of the intensity of the flames, crews could not immediately enter the home. A request for assistance was made to the Zumbrota Fire Department and they responded with an engine crew.
The Pine Island Fire Department says emergency crews remained on the scene until 9 am to make sure the blaze was completely extinguished.
"It's a great example that when you have alot of these new townhomes being built, that they have fire breaks built into a structure to keep fire from spreading," says David Friese, Pine Island Fire Department's assistant fire chief. "This was an example of how that construction works. That we were able to contain the fire to the one unit. It was considered a total loss. We did request the Minnesota fire marshals to respond and help investigate and determine the cause of the fire."
The Rochester Polie Department says it is working with the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office on this incident and confirms a female victim was attacked and forcefully taken from a home in northwest Rochester. Police say the victim was then driven to the home in Pine Island where the fire then happened.
The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office has also been called in on this investigation. The cause is currently suspected to be arson and a suspect has been taken into custody.