Fire Marshal: Cause of deadly Lucan fire undetermined

Author:
Updated:
Original:

No cause could be determined in the fire that killed two children in Lucan, Minnesota, according to the state Fire Marshal's report released Thursday.

The fire killed 4-year-old Isaiah Thooft and his older sister, 7-year-old Hazel Thooft, but parents Bernadette and Matthew Thooft and their four other children managed to escape the home safely when the blaze broke out on the afternoon of Dec. 4, 2013.

State Fire Marshal Steve Kellen says the fire originated in the south area of the main level family room, but no cause could be determined. Kellen notes that officials couldn't rule out two possibilities for the cause of the fire – faulty electrical equipment related to an artificial Christmas tree, or a child playing with an ignitions source, such as a butane lighter or matches, the report says.

Investigators say they consider this case closed.

Firefighters said the single-family house located 22 miles east of Marshall, Minnesota, was fully engulfed with flames when they arrived at the scene on the day of the fire.

The report says Bernadette Thooft had been napping with three of her children when her son, 7-year-old Augustus, told her an alarm was going off. Bernadette Thooft noticed smoke outside of her bedroom and began to lead her children out of the house when she saw her 11-year-old son, Zach DeCan, and told him to bring the other three children out to the van while she went to find Isaiah and Hazel.

Flames were spreading across the family room ceiling preventing her from getting to her two other children. Bernadette Thooft and Zach tried to get to them through the windows, but couldn't because of ice, according to the report.

The body of one child was found the night of the fire, while the other wasn’t located until the next day.

Responding Vesta Fire Department firefighter Neal Hansen was badly injured when he slipped on the ice and was run over by a fire rig. Seven fire departments responded to the scene, WCCO says.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 1.14.36 PM

Loons game canceled after 2nd player tests positive for COVID-19

They were due to play Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.

ambulance

2 killed in head-on crash involving car, dump truck

The crash happened just before 2 p.m. Friday, according to the State Patrol.

coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Saturday, October 31

Minnesota has surpassed 3,000 new cases on consecutive days.

high school football

Minnesota Football Showcase postponed due to COVID-19

The MFCA All-Star Game will be played in June 2021.

Screen Shot 2020-10-31 at 7.26.05 AM

Here's what President Trump said on his visit to Minnesota

The president targeted Gov. Tim Walz and Keith Ellison at his Minnesota rally.

Screen Shot 2020-10-30 at 6.09.58 PM

Here's what Joe Biden said in Minnesota Friday

Presenting himself as the candidate for a united country, he pledged improvements on affordable healthcare, pandemic relief

Mohamed Ibrahim

Missed PAT seals Gophers' fate against Maryland

Mohamed Ibrahim tied a school record with four touchdowns, but the Gophers lost in overtime.

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Related