Fire leaves family of 4 homeless

MARSHALL – A house fire Thursday afternoon in rural Cottonwood displaced a family of four, including two children, ages 3 and 5.

Cottonwood Fire Chief Dale Louwagie said Thursday the house is going to be a total loss. Area fire departments from Cottonwood, Marshall, Minneota and Ghent responded to the scene.

The American Red Cross provided for the family’s immediate emergency needs, including two nights in a hotel, food and clothing for the family, and comfort kits and stuffed animals.

Louwagie said Friday that an investigation by the state fire marshal’s office found the cause of the fire was electrical, possibly from a power strip in the house. Louwagie said Thursday’s fire was the second time in a row that the Cottonwood Fire Department responded to an electrical fire in a home. He urged area residents to be careful when using power strips and extension cords. Power strips should not be overloaded, and Louwagie recommended using heavy-duty extension cords.