Rochester family share gratitude during fire tragedy

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Between charred memories and soot covered clothing, there’s gratitude exuding from the Miester family.

“I say it all the time, but God’s love is all around us,” Angie Miester said.

Monday night, an electrical issue with a lamp caused the fire that devoured their northwest Rochester home. According to the family, the lamp was in a vacant room in the house and hadn’t been turned on in months.

Angie and her husband, Kurt, were in awe of the quick work from firefighters.

“We are forever in debt,” Angie said.

“It’s unbelievable,” Kurt added.

“They saved the house,” Angie said.

You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but their northwest Rochester house, once home to the family of five, is now unlivable.

“You walk in - and if you like the color black, it’s everywhere,” Angie said.

Youngest of three, Laynie Miester, was home at the time with friends.

“All of the sudden the alarms were off,” she said. “And we’ve never heard them this loud before. All of them were going off.”

In a matter of minutes, flames and smoke were billowing outside. The Miesters say without those smoke and fire alarms, it could have been much worse.

“It would have taken the entire upstairs before we even knew there was a fire,” Laynie said.

But even quicker than the fire itself - a community ready to step in.

“The amount of help that people have offered, it’s unbelievable. It’s just an amazing thing to be a part of,” Kurt said.

“It takes a village and we live in the best village possible. This community,” Angie said. “We’ll never forget it.”

Lincoln, Lilly and Laynie Miester were all stand out basketball athletes at John Marshall. Laynie is set to continue her basketball career at JM as a sophomore this fall. Lincoln plays at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Lilly at Indiana University.

Even through this tragedy, the family is soaking in time together.

“What’s crazy about this, this is really a special time with our family,” Angie said. “We get to look at items. And they’re charred but we get to talk about them and reminisce. And then chuck them. It’s maybe a silver lining. A time for us that we can talk about this stuff together.”

Family friends have started a GoFundMe for the Miester family.

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