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Boreal Community Media

Esko fire destroys family’s home: ‘Thankful to be alive’

Jan 20, 2022 06:31AM ● By Editor

Photo: KBJR-TV

By Quinn Gorham of KBJR-TV - January 18, 2022

A house fire that burned in Esko early Sunday morning destroyed everything but the family’s clothes on their backs. Tony Johnson says he saw a flash of light while sitting in the kitchen at around 1 a.m.

“I ran outside and the garage was fully engulfed. We called 911, ran back in the house and called for the kids,” Johnson said. He believes he was sitting in just the right spot to have seen the fire.

After getting his wife, two kids and three dogs out of the home, they all grabbed fire extinguishers and tried to hold off the flames. By the time fire crews arrived, the fire had spread to the house itself.


The fire destroyed the home. “It’s depressing. I mean I built all this,” said Johnson. He and his family are still reeling from the loss of their home, but they’re determined to bounce back. “I’ll build another one,” he said. Despite the loss of their home, Johnson says he’s thankful to have his family unharmed.

“It feels awesome to have everybody out and everybody safe. We took in some smoke but we got out,” he said, “We can make more memories, we can take more pictures.”

The last few days have been spent sifting through the rubble.

Neighbor Christa Larson has been letting the Johnson family stay with her for the time being.

“They’ve been such great neighbors to us,” Larson said, “I would hope that they’d do the same for me; I know that they would. Something tragic like this happens and you want to make sure that they’re being taken care of.”

Johnson said their friends and family have stepped up to help them in their time of need. “We had a ton of friends bring over clothes and food. They helped us dig through the rubble looking for valuables,” he said.

Johnson’s cousin started a GoFundMe to help the family recover. As of Tuesday, the GoFundMe has raised nearly $20,000.

To see the original report and read related stories, follow this link to the KBJR-TV website.

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