Albert Lea couple barely escapes engulfed home - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Albert Lea couple barely escapes engulfed home

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ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- A frightening Wednesday morning for an Albert Lea couple as they are rescued from their burning home. Luckily, a neighbor woke up in time to help save them.

Shortly after 2 AM, Kris Schewe and his fiance Beth's home broke out into flames. Within minutes, the house was engulfed.

"Hey dad, the house is on fire next door!"

Those are the words neighbor, Kevin Clapper awoke too.

"Next thing was like, who's in the house. Lets make sure we get them out," exclaimed Clapper.

Kris Schewe and his finance Beth were sound asleep in the upstairs bedroom. The Clapper family frantically tried to wake them.

"We were throwing rocks at the window and still weren't able to wake them up. Finally, we  really kicked the front door hard and threw a big rock. They opened up the window and said, "Oh my gosh!", recalled Clapper.

By that point, smoke was billowing out of the windows. Instead of jumping out of a 2-story window, Clapper got a ladder to help authorities rescue the couple.

"The lower level of the unit was totally engulfed in flames and smoke, so the officers couldn't enter the residence. Instead, they utilized the ladder to remove the people from the upstairs," said Lieutenant Jeff Strom, Albert Lea Police Department.

While the couple was lucky enough to escape with only minor smoke inhalation, a dog and cat died in the blaze.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The house is estimated to be a total loss. Due to the intense heat, some neighboring homes also sustained damage.

 

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