EDINA, Minn. – Edina’s families are still picking up the pieces afterwardsleft a lot with nothing.
At least nine units were destroyed in the fire that occurred Tuesday night on Barrie Road.
“Overwhelming” is how Brynn Idelkope describes her life since Tuesday, when fire spread to her apartment where she and her 8-year-old daughter, Ari, were sleeping.
“You never think this will happen to you, and then your whole life will go up in flames,” Idelkope said. “My bed was on fire… We flew out with our pajamas and nothing else and a coat, but that’s all we had so we lost it all unfortunately.”
To make matters worse, Idelkope had just completed an expensive renovation project.
“We just got new furniture, brand new, and everything is gone,” Idelkope said. “More the memories. The picture books, her baby memories, it all goes up in smoke.”
She says if it hadn’t been for the barking of her dog Coco, they might not have made it out in time.
“She saved the day,” Idelkope said.
Investigators believe the fire started in the second floor kitchen. The state fire marshal’s office says smoking and cooking are the leading causes of fires in Minnesota.
Tina and Anna also cannot return to their unit and have been sleeping in a local hotel with the help of the American Red Cross.
“We grabbed our phones and wallets and I grabbed a laptop because I knew I had client photos on it,” Anna said.
Anna is a photographer who worked from home. She doesn’t know if her camera gear is salvageable.
The neighbors are both hosting online fundraisers and receiving community support. Idelkope says her daughter’s school has also been helpful in collecting clothing donations.
“I’m just glad everyone got out safe and no one was injured,” Idelkope said. “A few minor smoke inhalations, but thankful everyone got away with it.”
The state typically experiences the deadliest fires between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. American Red Cross volunteers are already seeing a 20% increase in fire responses so far this month, compared to last year.