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2 fish houses, 2 ATVs fall through thin ice within 3 hours of each other near Willmar

Four lakes, four separate cases of vehicles and ice houses falling through.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office was busy responding to thin ice incidents on Thursday, with four of them reported in a three-hour window. 

The first was reported at 1:06 p.m. when an ice-fishing house fell through the ice on Willmar Lake. Next was an ATV going through the ice in the channel between Games and Norway lakes, which is about 15 miles northwest of Willmar. 

A 65-year-old Pennock man was driving his John Deere ATV when it fell through the ice. The ATV was fully submerged and the man was forced to stand on top of it and call for help. Luckily, a neighbor responded and pulled him to safety with another ATV. 

The man was check at the scene by first responders and found to be just fine. 

At 3:55 p.m., another ATV went through thin ice on Lake Lillian, which is about 20 miles southeast of Willmar. And just 14 minutes later the fourth incident happened 10 miles southeast of Willmar on Lake Wagonga with another fish house going through the ice. 

No one was injured in any of the incidents, but the sheriff's office says it's another reminder that people need to use "extreme caution" when venturing onto the ice, especially since temperatures have been above normal of late. 

The Minnesota DNR recommends there be at least four inches of ice to walk on a frozen waterway, seven inches for an ATV or snowmobile, 12 inches for cars and 15 inches for trucks. 

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