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Your Letters: Memories of two fires

The article on house fires in a recent Pioneer Journal brought back memories of one winter in the early 1940s. Two farmhouse fires, both south of Wadena, including the Frank Truax family, and my parents, the Alvin Truaxes, were complete losses.

Frank's fire, which started in the night on Jan. 1, 1944, put three children in the hospital due to smoke inhalation, burns and cuts. They all survived but I'm sure it had a profound effect on them. For example, one of their sons came to our house to stay until new living quarters were found. When it got time to go to bed he didn't want to go upstairs where the beds were, but Mom assured him he would be safe as our house was not going to burn.

Three weeks later, Saturday, Jan. 23, 1944, which was bright and sunny, our house burned to the ground!

The churches brought clothing, blankets, and food so by Monday my brother, sister and myself were able to go to school in Hewitt. An hour or so after getting to school the fire alarm went off due to a fire near a bulk gas tank in town! All the kids were marched out along the highway east of Hewitt where we stood shivering until it was safe to go back.

Carol Truax Bruder

Oakdale, Minn.