The occupants, the fourth generation of a family living at the house and property, managed to escape because of the boys’ actions. Arnie Davidsons, father of the homeowner, said his 9- and 11-year-old grandsons were able to climb out of a window just as the blaze started and woke him up next door.
The fire started just after midnight Wednesday near 10th Street in the 1100 block of 114th Avenue in Martin.
Davidsons said his two grandsons slipped out the window, got down from a tree and ran next door to alert him. He then grabbed a ladder and his 11-year-old grandson helped him lift it up to the roof of the back porch to rescue his granchildren’s parents. Because the house had a metal roof, it was difficult to get to the fire in the upper levels.
All four members of the family were able to get out of the house before firefighters arrived.
Martin Township Fire Chief Earl Wykstra said the father in the home suffered from smoke inhalation and was treated on scene, but there were no other problems.
Martin Township was assisted at the scene by Wayland, Otsego, Gun Plain and Hopkins fire departments. No firefighters were injured.
Wykstra said the fire appears to have started in the front northeast corner of the downstairs living room. However, the cause will be difficult to determine because of extensive damage. The fire did not appear to be suspicious.