First Responders Help 'One Of Their Own'

November 13, 2017 11:47 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- A Clarks Grove family's home suffered heavy damage in a weekend house fire.

And for one member of the household, it's a different view of recovering from a tragedy.


"We still respond to it the normal way we respond to everyone else, but it does hit home a little bit harder that it's someone you work with on a daily basis,” said Sgt. Tim Bennett of the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office.

“We received a call from Todd Earl, saying his house was on fire," Sgt. Tim Bennett told us.

Todd Earl is chief deputy for the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office.

The fire was reported around 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, and Clarks Grove firefighters were on the scene within minutes.

"Heather happened to hear a noise and figured that it was coming from inside the wall it sounded like and was able to alert the family and get everybody out safely,” Freeborn county emergency management director Rich Hall said.

“There was smoke coming from all over in the roof, and flames were visible coming out of the south part of the roof," added Sgt. Tim Bennett.

Firefighters from Geneva, Hollandale, Albert Lea and Ellendale assisted in fighting the fire.

The State Fire Marshal was called to assist with the investigation into what caused it.

"There's a wood burner stove downstairs that was going and it appears that the fire started in the chimney up in the attic and started the attic on fire and then spread throughout the attic," Freeborn County’s Sgt. Tim Bennett said.

The house suffered heavy damage: “A lot of water damage, a lot of smoke damage and a lot of insulation, fallen insulation everywhere," Rich Hall told ABC 6.

“None of the family was hurt, all of the animals got out safely, none of the first responders were hurt,” Sgt. Tim Bennett explained.

“Material things can be replaced,” Hall added. “But they're just so thankful that everybody was able to get out safe and for all the support that they've received.”

A GoFundMe is raising money for the family.  If you would like to help, click here.


Dan Conradt

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