December, 7th, 2022 marks the 50th Anniversary of:

Our family home burned down after we had spend a full year remodeling this old historic farm home just 3 miles out side of Carlos, Mn. My father and I had just finished putting the door knobs on his bedroom door that night and it went up in flames on December 7th, 1972 at about 12:15 am.

I was 12 at the time. As you can imagine, this would be a pretty tragic event for a 12 year old.

First off, we all made it out safely, luckily.  The fire marshal said just a few more seconds and the kids upstairs would have died from smoke inhalation.  Black smoke was just inches from our noses in bed.  Mom was the first to wake up.  She got up and turned the upstairs light on.  When she looked upstairs, she said it was pure black.  Maybe a couple feet off the floor.  She yelled for us to wake up.  And then yelled Fire and to come downstairs.  I loaded up my pillowcase with my important toys. Not sure what that was.  Anyways, we all got down stairs.

Dad was brilliant.  He knew the fire must be in the walls somewhere.   He told us, the minute we open the door, it would probably explode.  So he got us lined up by the front door. We grabbed some of the rifles and mom had a couple photo albums and that was it.

The second dad opened the front door, all the upstairs windows blew out.  We all ran.  Mom and I ran to the pick up truck.  We drove to the neighbors.  Nobody home! We went to next neighbor a couple miles up the road. They were scared and didn’t come to the door.  We went to next place and beat on the door.  They came to the door with a machine gun.  They called the fire in.  Carlos Volunteer Fire Department answered the call.  On our drive back home I will never forget, I remember asking mom about the beautiful sunrise.  She said, Scott that’s our house 🔥.

Only photograph of original farm house I have. Brother Bob, standing. Friend driving tractor.

I remember, we lost all our Christmas presents that year in the fire.  We still had a nice Christmas, but it has always been the same ever since.  I always remember everything we lost and most importantly we survived.

The house fire was caused by poor wiring in 100 year old home or wet insulation in walls getting air. (Internal Combustion)  As we were doing the remodeling, we would open up a wall that was plaster and lath and discover the wall full of newspaper, magazines and even old black and white photographs.  At the time we thought it was pretty cool.  However, that was probably more than likely what started on fire upstairs.   I remember coming home from school that day and asking mom if she burned cookies.

We rebuilt a new home exactly where old home was.  That was the start of my construction career.