A cold fight

Cameron firefighters tackle a house fire south of Cameron on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Temperatures were 20 below zero and colder, with wind chill temps around 40 below.

Twenty firefighters from three fire departments tackled a house fire in the bitter cold Wednesday, Jan. 30, south of Cameron.

The fire was reported around 11 a.m. in the 1100 block of 19-7/8 Street, about three miles south of Cameron. Cameron Fire Department responded, and was assisted by a tanker from the Barron Fire Department and a warming trailer from the New Auburn Fire Department.

Temperatures hovered around 20 below zero, midday on Wednesday. Wind chills were at around 40 below. Ice covered firefighters' turnout gear and helmets.

The entire home was involved in the fire as firefighters arrived on scene, said Dan "Bimbo" Gifford, with the Cameron Fire Department. It was brought under control in less than half an hour. Holes were cut into the attic of the house by firefighters and they continued to mop up hot spots for a couple of hours.

At home at the time were three adults and two children. All escaped the house after noticing the fire. They called 911 and took shelter at a neighbor's residence. Two cats and a dog were rescued, but two cats were still missing as of 12:30 p.m.

The house is owned by Brandi Standford. Living at the home were her sister, Amber Greene, Greene's boyfriend, Adam Melton. Also there were Greene's two children, and the children's father, Ryan Nelson.

Nelson said the fire likely started from a truck heater in the garage. They smelled the smoke and opened the door to the garage, discovering the fire.

"I didn't see any flames, just black smoke," Greene said.

Nelson said he saw flames under his truck. They grabbed the children, who were home as school was called off due to weather, and ran barefoot to the neighbor's residence.

"It's all gone," Nelson said.

They lost everything in the house to the fire. Melton said he was talking with St. Vincent de Paul about getting clothing donations. The Red Cross was also being put in contact with the residents.

Greene said she was now looking to replace her children's clothing. She needed adult small sizes for her son, and size 8 for her daughter. She was also in need of size 9 shoes for her son and size 1 shoes for her daughter.

Greene said they were making plans to stay with family members.

A fundraiser on Facebook had been set up.

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