Man, dog die in western Minnesota house fire
Photo: Getty Images

January 3, 2023

MILTONA, Minn. (AP) — An 85-year-old man and a dog have died in a New Year’s Day house fire in western Minnesota.

The Douglas County sheriff’s office says it got a 911 call about the fire near Miltona around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. First responders arrived to find the home fully engulfed.

Charles DeMartelaere told authorities he was in an outbuilding when he noticed flames coming from the house. He tried to rescue his father, Gene DeMartelaere, but was unable to get to him because of the smoke, heat, and flames.

Crews found the body of Gene DeMartelaere and a family dog on the main floor.

The son was taken to an Alexandria hospital for smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but the sheriff’s office says it doesn’t appear to be suspicious.