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Two flee house fire in subzero temps

Minnesota State Fire Marshal Steve Kellen on Tuesday looks through charred debris where a fire broke out Monday and destroyed a home between Maynard and Granite Falls. Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny

MAYNARD -- A mother and her son fled their burning home in subzero temperatures Monday night.

Kim Savig and her 14-year-old son Timothy were asleep when fire broke out sometime between 8:30 and 9 p.m. in the attached garage on their rural farm home in western Renville County between Granite Falls and Maynard.

Kim Savig said she was sleeping in a chair but woke up when fumes began irritating her throat. She saw the haze from the smoke entering the home and yelled to her son, who was asleep in his bed on the bedroom wall adjoining the garage. Savig said she heard loud popping and knew the fire was expanding rapidly, and she and her son grabbed coats and fled outside.

The home and its contents are believed to be a total loss. Two of the family's dogs perished in the blaze. The fire also destroyed a Mercury Mountaineer that had been parked just outside the garage.

Savig and her husband, Charles, were waiting to look through their charred home to see if there were photographs or any other personal effects they could salvage.

Charles is a farmer and truck driver for Fagen's Inc., of Granite Falls. He was in Montana with a truck when he was contacted about the fire. Company owner Ron Fagen dispatched a plane and had him back at around 2 a.m., according to family members.

The Savig's daughter, Lexi, was away at college in St. Cloud when the fire broke out.

Volunteer firefighters from Maynard, Granite Falls and Sacred Heart joined to battle the blaze in temperatures in the range of minus 12 to minus 15 degrees. Firefighters were called back to the scene at sometime after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when family members reported that it had re-ignited.

The fire engulfed the garage and charred the adjoining portion of the house, while heat, smoke and water damage was extensive throughout the remainder.

State Fire Marshal Steve Kellen said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Savig said she was surprised by how quickly the fire developed. She said she and family members were overwhelmed Tuesday by the many offers of help they have received, and grateful that she and her son could escape unharmed.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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