Firefighters battled a windchill of about 10 below zero as they extinguished a house fire Tuesday, Feb. 18, north of Sebeka.
The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a structure fire at 10:35 p.m. at 31513 109th Ave., according to a Wadena County Sheriff's Office news release. No injuries were reported but the home was a total loss.
When a deputy arrived on scene, the single family dwelling, owned by Dan Jarvi, was full of smoke. Flames had already reached the second story of the structure. Fire crews arrived on scene next and extinguished the blaze. Emergency crews were on scene until about 1:15 a.m. Mark Jarvi, Dan's brother, was renting the home. He and his three children, Mason, Madison and Lars, all made it out unharmed. A family dog and cats appeared to be uninjured as well. Mark said the family lost everything "except the clothes off our backs." His son alerted him to the fire and they quickly exited the home.
"The most important thing is we didn't lose a life," Mark said of the fire.
Mark, a single parent, said his children all made it to classes at Sebeka Public School on Wednesday. He was trying to make sense of it all Wednesday but was comforted by the overwhelming support he has seen from the community.
His brother Dan owns the Lake Country Foods store in Menahga. That is one location taking donations for the family. A Facebook post lists a number of items the family needs, mostly all types of clothing for each member of the family. The family also plans to put up a Go Fund Me page to seek further help after the loss.
It's believed that the fire was caused by the furnace, the news release said. The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by the Sebeka and Menahga Fire Departments, Tri-County Ambulance and the Wadena County Highway Department.