They weren’t home at the time, but pets perish; kitchen a possible point of interest in investigation

    An early Saturday morning fire destroyed a Crookston home belonging to Highland School fourth grade teacher Ellen Lokken and her husband, Karl.    

    The Crookston Fire Department was called to 215 Lincoln Avenue at 3:12 a.m. by the Lokkens' neighbor for a structure fire that was heavily burning.    

    "The neighbor's dog alerted them to something happening," Fire Chief Tim Froeber told the Times. "The fire had been burning for quite a while before we arrived as it was coming out of both the first and second stories. The owners were not home at the time and, unfortunately, a couple pets perished with the fire."    

    The Fisher and Fertile Fire Departments assisted the CFD with extinguishing the fire.    

    "The state fire marshal did their investigation on Saturday and it is possible that the kitchen area is a point of interest," said Froeber. "The couple's insurance company will be looking at the home this week before more details are provided. The good news is that the fire alarms were sounding so we know they kept up to date with its maintenance. It's very important to have working fire and carbon monoxide alarms throughout your home."    

    The Lokken family has been in contact with the Salvation Army and Red Cross and stayed a night at the Crookston Inn. They are currently looking at a long-term apartment in Grand Forks.    

    A fund has been established for the Lokken family at Bremer Bank in Crookston. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to the following:

Bremer Bank
c/o Lokken Family Fund
201 North Broadway
Crookston, MN 56716