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Family escapes major injuries, but loses pets in fire

Fire destroyed a rural Red Wing home early Saturday morning. The home's occupants, Holly and Jeffrey Simonson and their son, sustained no major injuries. The couple's daughter was not home at the time of the fire. Three dogs were lost in the blaze.

A rural Red Wing family lost their home and three dogs in an early Saturday morning fire, the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office reported.

Goodhue Fire Department was dispatched to the home of Jeffrey and Holly Simonson, 20059 290th St., at about 5:10 a.m.

"The structure is a total loss," Goodhue Fire Chief Mike Kehran said. "We were hoping to save the house, but it was too far gone."

The couple and their 8-year-old son were already out of the house by the time crews arrived. A daughter was not home at the time, American Red Cross spokeswoman Joellen Barak said.

The family had been woken up by the smell of smoke and their dogs barking, Kehran said.

"They typically don't bark unless something is going on," Kehran said Jeffrey Simonson told him.

Because smoke was thick through the home's main floor, the family exited through a basement door. However, they were not able to get all of their dogs out of the home, Goodhue County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kris Weiss said.

"They'll definitely be remembered if they woke him up," Kehran said.

When crews arrived on scene, the garage was already engulfed and smoke was pouring out of the home's windows. The fire was spreading into the house as firefighters were setting up, Kehran said.

About 24 Goodhue firefighters were on scene until about 12:30 p.m. Zumbrota Fire Department and Red Wing Fire Department assisted with hauling water.

Temperatures in the 20s meant the fire crews had no weather-related issues fighting the blaze.

"There wasn't any trouble that way," Kehran said.

The family is staying with relatives, but the Red Cross is helping them with food and clothing, Barak said.

Jeffrey Simonson was able to get two vehicles out of the garage. In doing so, he suffered minor burns to his wrist and was treated on scene, Weiss said.

Kehran said the fire didn't spread into the home's basement, and the family should be able to salvage some possessions.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.