6 family members injured in southern Minnesota house fire

6 family members injured in southern Minnesota house fire Photo: Courtesy photos

Updated: October 31, 2019 10:09 PM

Multiple people were injured in a house fire that occurred early Thursday morning in Houston County.


A release from the Houston County Sheriff's Office said first responders were called just after 12:30 a.m. on a report of a house fire on the 1000 block of Dump Hill Road in Rushford.

The sheriff's office said the six people inside were able to get out of the before firefighters arrived. 

When first responders made it to the scene, the house was fully engulfed. The house has been considered a total loss. 

According to the sheriff's office, three girls who are 3 to 7 years old were taken to an area hospital, and later transferred to Regions Hospital with serious injuries.

Their 45-year-old father was flown by Gundersen Air Helicopter to Regions Hospital with serious injuries.

Meanwhile, a 15-year-old boy and a 40-year-old woman were transported to Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse for injuries suffered during the fire. Both were treated and released, according to hospital officials.

The man and woman in the fire were identified as Erin and Jared Cords. As of Thursday night, Jared was reported to be in fair condition.

"He saved his family," said Chad Rasmussen, the Rushford Fire Chief. "He went through the fire to get these kids out, he did everything he could."

Chief Rasmussen told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Erin Cords woke their family up and Jared got the kids out of the house. The older child was upstairs, he said, and jumped out of the window of the two-story ranch home.

"It's a miracle. If it wouldn't have been for the heroic acts of the father getting these kids out of that house, we would have been dealing with a whole different situation. I wanna say we had less than 30 seconds to get the kids out or we would have a whole different situation on our hands."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The community is rallying around the family. Within a day, thousands of dollars had been raised through a Facebook fundraiser for the Cords family.

Close friends also dropped of donation buckets at more than a dozen businesses in town, including at Farmers Win Coop.

“You just want to step up and help as much as you can,’ said Lexie Boehmke, who works there and knows the family. “They have big hearts and now they have lost everything.”

She said within a few hours, more than $100 had been donated.

“He’s an electrician and she’s a dental hygienist, they give to people every single day,” she said. “So to give back to them and try to help them through this tough time means everything.”

Boemke told KSTP some of the store’s employees are on the fire department and responded to the scene. She also lives not far from the family’s home.

“I just wanted to go hug them, I feel bad for them,” she said. “Any little bit helps, whether it’s clothes for the kids or parents or its food, whether its houseware. They’re going to have to build everything back up that they have worked so hard for.”

You can also donate at Rushford State Bank where a Cords Family Donation account has been set up. The bank told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS people can call, stop in, or send a check made out to Jared Cords & Family. The bank is also accepting gift cards and certificates for the family.

The bank’s phone number is 507-864-7755.

Donations can be mailed to:
Jared Cords & Family
C/O Rushford State Bank
219 S Mill St.
P.O. Box 648
Rushford, MN 55971

Clothing, toys and other donations are also being accepted at SEMAC and Rushford Clinic.

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Callan Gray & KSTP

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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