Two children remained missing Wednesday night, hours after a fire drove a family from its southwest Minnesota home.
Firefighters from the surrounding communities were still on the scene of the smoldering house outside Lucan, about 22 miles east of Marshall, late Wednesday.
Two adults and several children were able to get out of the house without injury after it caught fire Wednesday afternoon. The homeowners had called 911 at 2:35 p.m. to report the blaze.
The two-story single-family farmhouse was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
They weren’t able to get inside to look for the children who were unaccounted for, said Jen Longaecker, public information officer for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
“We haven’t been able to confirm” that the other two children were inside because they hadn’t been located, Longaecker said. She said she believed the children were younger than 10.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation by the state Fire Marshal’s Division.
“Right now, we have no idea,” Longaecker said. “We’re still trying to piece everything together.”
A firefighter from tiny Vesta, a neighboring town in Redwood County, was hospitalized after an accident at the scene when he slipped and was injured by a fire rig, Longaecker said.
“Conditions were slick, and a tanker either hit him or ran him over,” she said.
Longaecker said she didn’t yet have any information on the firefighter’s condition.
Firefighters from Wabasso, Seaforth, Wanda, Walnut Grove and Milroy also responded, along with officers from the Minnesota State Patrol.
In small towns like Lucan and Vesta, everybody knows the victims and the injured firefighter, and that can be hard for the community, Longaecker said.
“Our hearts go out to the family,” she said. “Hopefully, we can find some answers and do whatever we can to help them.”