On February 23, 2023, at approximately 12:24 a.m., the Stearns County Emergency Communications Center received a report of a house fire at 155 Highway 4 in the city of Meire Grove. The homeowner Ethan Walz, 26, reported being awakened by smoke alarms going off inside his residence and he could see smoke coming from the basement. Walz woke up his roommate Alex Zierden, 28, and they evacuated the home with their two dogs. There was no one else inside the residence. Walz and Zierden were not injured and did not seek any medical attention. Melrose, Sauk Centre, and Freeport Fire Departments responded to the scene and extinguished the fire. The residence suffered heavy smoke and fire damage. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.