The home of Vicki Olson was heavily damaged by a Feb. 18 fire

The home of Vicki Olson was heavily damaged by a Feb. 18 fire, apparently caused by supplemental space heaters.

The small home of Vicki Olson of Hill City caught fire on the morning of Feb. 18. Hill City Fire Department responded to the fire, which was located in a crowded section of town only a few blocks from the fire station.

Volunteer firefighters were paged out; they heard on the radio that residents were still inside.  Four firefighters responded, by which time police chief Josh Kimball had coaxed the residents and their dog out through the smoke and got them to safety. Two residents were evacuated and brought to Ruthie’s in Hill City, where they were checked out by ambulance staff.

Assistant Hill City Fire Chief Ron Saxton used this occasion to remind the public that, “With the cold weather and pipes freezing, we encourage people to be especially careful with space heaters, turbo heaters and any kind of supplemental heating. Make sure you observe safe distances from any combustible materials. This could have been a lot worse.”

The fire was under control within an hour, but the trailer is unlikely to be salvageable, said Saxton.

“Because the house was so close to the station, we were able to save the residents and about 75% of the belongings in the trailer – those are the most important things.”

Neighbors were keeping a close watch on proceedings; propane tanks were close to nearby homes, so there was potential for the fire to have spread.

Donations for Olson can be mailed to City Hall, P.O. Box 160, Hill City, MN 55748.

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