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On top of tragic calls; hectic spree for Perham firefighters has unlikely ending: an outhouse fire

A hectic weekend for the Perham Volunteer Fire Department was topped off with--of all things--an outhouse fire.

After tragic calls involving a train-truck fatality and a serious one vehicle rollover, Perham firefighters were called to a remote corner of the Pioneer Grounds to douse an outhouse around 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 31.

In all likelihood, the fire was a case of vandalism, speculated Perham Fire Chief Mark Schmidt.

"It was kind of out in the middle of power, no nothing," said Schmidt of the outhouse, which was situated east of the shooting range at the blackpowder encampment area, north of the main Pioneer Village site.

Because of the location, and no electricity, Schmidt categorized the fire as "suspicious."

The blaze was spotted through the trees, by employees at the Lakeside Golf Course. Employees originally thought one of the outhouses on the golf course was burning.

By the time a Perham police officer arrived on scene, there were only a few timbers still standing. The 8 by 12 foot outhouse was nearly burned to the ground when the firefighters arrived. The grass around the structure had also started burning.

Firefighters poured about 800 gallons of water on the structure and the surrounding grass, to prevent the fire from spreading.

As with all fires of a suspicious nature, the outhouse fire was reported to the State Fire Marshall's Office, noted Schmidt.