Three people have died, and one child has life-threatening injuries after an early morning house fire in Hibbing.
According to the Hibbing Fire Department, crews were dispatched at 1:37 a.m. on reports of heavy fire on the back of a home along the 200 block of 42nd St. East. There were also reports of people trapped inside.
Upon arrival at 1:46 a.m., crews immediately deployed rescue tactics to retrieve those inside. One of three juveniles was already outside in stable condition when firefighters arrived. By 1:53 a.m., the rescue team had removed four victims--2 adults and 2 juveniles--from the home. All four had no pulses, and were not breathing.
Emergency crews resuscitated the two children, and they were taken to Fairview Range Medical Center by Chisholm Ambulance. They were later flown to a level 1 trauma center with life-threatening injuries. The two adults did not survive the fire, and one child later died at the hospital.
Another child is at Hennepin Co. Medical Center in Minneapolis in critical condition, and one juvenile is pending being released from the hospital on Tuesday.
The names of the victims are not being released at this time until family has been notified.
The Hibbing Fire Marshal is investigating the fire with help from the State Fire Marshals office. There is no known cause at this time, and the home is a total loss.
Temperatures in Hibbing at the time of the fire were ranging between 20-25 below zero, with wind chill pushing it down to 30 below zero.
In an official statement Tuesday morning, Hibbing Fire Marshal Bryan Fagerstrom says, "This is a heavy day for the Hibbing Fire Department and we send our condolences to the family of this terrible tragedy. Please take the extra time today to ensure your smoke alarms are working and that you safeguard your home of fire hazards."
Fagerstrom went on to thank the mutual aide response from Chisholm Fire, Chisholm Ambulance, Keewatin Fire, Clinton Fire, Virginia Fire and EMS, Fayal Fire, Nashwauk Ambulance, Hibbing Police Dept., Hibbing public utilities, and Hibbing Public works.
According to the Minnesota Dept. of Public Safety State Fire Marshal division, 57 people have died in fires in the state so far this year--a 30 percent increase over last year's total of 43. By this time last year, officials say there were 42 fire related deaths.
In 2015 DPS officials say there were also 57 fire deaths--the highest number since 2002 when there were 64. According to spokesperson Jennifer Longaecker, the two adults who died in Tuesday morning's fire in Hibbing have not been added to the total until their official cause of death is determined.
Once the numbers are added up, 2017 is poised to be the deadliest year for fires since 2002.