Weather Forecast


Lake Lillian family flees burning home

LAKE LILLIAN -- A rural Lake Lillian family is staying with relatives after fire forced them to flee their home during the night on Saturday.

Michael and Shannon Schemmel and their two young children escaped unharmed after Shannon apparently smelled smoke and alerted other family members around 1:50 a.m. on Saturday. Their home is located west of Lake Lillian along Minnesota Highway 7 on the 8000 block of 195th Avenue Southeast.

The two-story, older farm home sustained extensive smoke damage, but the fire was contained largely to a bathroom where it originated, said Lake Lillian Fire Chief Josh Gilberts.

The cause of the fire was not yet determined.

The chief said the bathroom door had apparently been closed, so the fire was largely confined in the room. Firefighters directed much of their efforts at preventing it from spreading upstairs and beyond the bathroom.

He said the smoke and heat caused extensive damage, but he believes the family should be able to salvage some personal belongings.

The Lake Lillian firefighters were assisted by firefighters from the Blomkest and Olivia departments at the scene. Firefighters remained at the site until 4:30 a.m.

Tom Cherveny

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

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