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Brownsville, MN home a total loss after fire


BROWNSVILLE, Minn. (WEAU) -- Three people are without a home after a fire.

A Brownsville, Minnesota, assistant fire chief said the home is a total loss.

The fire department said it was in the 800 block of Main Street.

Mark Gantenbein said it’s devastating to know his son, grandson and his son’s girlfriend have lost their home.

“It’s terrible. I saw them take out take my grandson’s presents out of there all melted. I didn’t like it,” said Gantenbein.

His son was at work, but his grandson and his grandson’s mother were inside the house.

“They called me and my son called me as soon as his girlfriend woke up, they woke up and there was smoke in the house, they called and called me, and I was here right away,” said Gantenbein.

The Brownsville Fire Department said they were called around 7:30 Wednesday morning.

The boy and his mother made it out safely.

No one was hurt, but the fire department said the home was destroyed.

“The house was pretty filled with smoke at that point, so there was no going in and had to get her from the outside knocking the fire down from where it was showing,” said Brownsville Assistant Fire Chief Dave Guckelberger.

The Brownsville, Caledonia, Hokah and Eitzen Fire Departments all responded.

Guckelberger said the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined, but he said it looks like it could have started from a wood stove in the basement.

He said the fire apparently came through the floor and the walls, which made it hard to put out.

“The house had been rebuilt several times so it had multiple layers of construction and the fire was trapped in between those layers. The work was breaking the house apart in order to get water into the fire,” said Guckelberger.

The American Red Cross is helping the family.

If you’d like to help, you can donate to the House Fire Account for Brittany and J.T. at New Albin Savings Bank in New Albin, Iowa.

Their address is P.O. Box 8, 118 Main St. NE, New Albin, IA 52160.

You can also donate to the House Fire Account at Dairyland Power Credit Union in La Crosse.

Their address is P.O. Box 817, 3200 East Ave S., La Crosse, WI 54602.


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