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Posted on: August 25, 2022

Northernaire Houseboats Fire Claims Life of One Family Member

August 25, 2022 – After battling the inferno at the main office/house at Northernaire Houseboats on Rainy Lake, the International Falls Fire Department discovered the body of an 85-year-old female in the fire at approximately 11:20 pm, Wednesday, Aug 24. The fire was reported just after 5 pm, Wednesday evening. The victims of the fire are related; the family owns and operates the resort. Fire crews battled the blaze into the early hours of Thursday morning and eventually cleared the scene around 3 am. 

A second victim, the 51-year-old daughter of the deceased unsuccessfully tried to reenter the home to rescue her mother and was transported to Rainy Lake Medical Center in critical condition, and later airlifted to another trauma facility for a higher level of care. No updates on her condition are available at this time. A third individual, a 12-year-old female, was also transported to the Rainy Lake Medical Center and remains in stable condition. 

Two firefighters responding to the blaze were also transported and treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration and later released. They are now reported to be in good condition. Four additional firefighters were eventually sent home overnight for heat exhaustion and dehydration, but did not require hospital treatment. 

Next of kin have been notified of the fatality and the deceased will be transported to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in the Twin Cities.

The fire is still under investigation, but early signs point to it being accidental in nature and there is nothing suspicious at this time. The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Division arrived on scene at approximately 10 pm, to begin the investigation into the fire. The scene is secured until the fire investigation can be completed. 

No further information is available at this time. Updates will be released as more information is available. 

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Contact: Valerie Marasco Eliasen, Public Information Officer, Koochiching County Emergency Operations Center at 
                  218-387-5700 or vmeliasenPR@gmail.com

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