Family escapes blaze, home a total loss
A father and two small children escaped a burning home Thursday afternoon losing all their possessions in the fire. "I went to get my daughter from school and my husband was home with the two little kids," said Jacinta Hartwig. "And I came home a...
A father and two small children escaped a burning home Thursday afternoon losing all their possessions in the fire.
"I went to get my daughter from school and my husband was home with the two little kids," said Jacinta Hartwig. "And I came home and there was already flames coming out of the bedroom window."
The family has three small children, ages 2, 5 and 7. The fire was reported just before 3 p.m. Thursday in the home at 7172 17th Ave SW in Loon Lake Township in Cass County.
A smoke alarm alerted the family but the fire spread rapidly, said Pequot Lakes Fire Chief Tom Nelson.
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"It's a total loss," Nelson said of the single story home. The home was fully engulfed when firefighters from the Pequot Lakes and Nisswa fire departments arrived at the scene. Firefighters saved a detached two-stall garage. The home occupants lost everything in the fire, which started in a bedroom area, Nelson said.
Jacinta Hartwig said her husband Michael Hartwig had just plugged in a fish locator in the bedroom and sat down in the living room.
"And a minute later the smoke alarm went off and he went to check and by then the curtains and the bed were already on fire and so he grabbed the kids and ran out," she said, adding her husband grabbed the wrong phone and had to go back inside the burning house to get his cell phone so he could call the fire department. The home is in a wooded area. Ammunition in the home was going off in the heat of the fire, but firefighters said it was more of a surprise than a danger to them.
Nelson said Michael Hartwig was treated for smoke inhalation and had minor cuts on his hand from broken glass, believed to have come from breaking a window.
"It sounds like it happened pretty fast," Nelson said of the fire, adding Michael Hartwig had to jump out a window to escape the home.
About 18 firefighters from the Pequot Lakes Fire Department were on scene with about nine firefighters from the Nisswa Fire Department called in for mutual aid.
"It's unfortunate," said Nisswa Fire Chief Richard Geike. "Nothing much left."
The Red Cross was notified and the family was believed to have relatives in the area to go to for a place to stay. Firefighters were on site for about three hours.
RENEE RICHARDSON, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5852 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz .