B&B Where 6 Died In Fire Not Licensed, Inspected

NEW ULM, Minn. (AP) — The bed and breakfast house that caught fire, killing six people in New Ulm, had not been recently inspected and was not licensed for guests.

New Ulm fire marshal Ellwood Zabel says he didn’t do an annual inspection of the Bohemian Bed and Breakfast because the owner said it would not be used for guests. City records show owner Roberta McCrea did not apply for a license to use the house for lodging in 2011.

Authorities have not identified the victims of the fire Saturday, but family members say McCrea, her 15-year-old daughter, Abby, and 3-year-old daughter, Savannah, were among the victims. Jake Bergman says his parents, Joe and Dian Bergman of Centuria, Wis., also died in the fire.

He said his parents would have been married 38 years next month.

Bergman said his parents were visiting with their longtime friends, Andy and Sandy Uhing of rural Hartington, Neb. at the B&B. The Uhing’s son, Wilfred, says his dad died in the fire while his mother escaped.

Bergman says his family lived in Nebraska before moving to Wisconsin about 20 years ago. His parents farmed near Centuria in Polk County and also worked off the farm. He says his parents were strict, but fair in raising him and his brother and sister.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • geo

    I guess this world won’t survive unless everything is inspected and licensed by the government.

  • Zippy

    Neither of which, would have made a difference. I feel bad for the people who died but believe this story was produced at the prompting of some ambulance chasing dirt bags lawyers who wan’t to get 35% of some settlement. Great job ‘cco.

    • @zippy

      Perhaps inspection would of found weaknesses in detectors, therefore making Zippies comment the dumbest 1 of the day, I hope you don’t care for yourself, I suppose if your child died in this fire and you found out it hadn’t been inspected you would have just laughed the negligence off, you’re a tree stump

    • Mark

      “Hey Government, we don’t need no stinking regulations! Let us make PROFITS because that is what we are about!”

      How about we get rid of all regulations that protect you when you drive a car or travel in an aircraft or train. Or how about we get rid of the USDA and the inspection of food safety? how about a nice helping of e-coli with your botulism?

      Business and industry have proven time and time again that they don’t care about the consumer or their own employees. They only care about the profit and will do everything they can to go around or even blatently break rules put in place to protect people.

  • Sarah In Outstate MN

    Where were the smoke detectors?

    • Newulmite

      I live in NU didn’t know the people killed but my niece went to school with the 15 yr old who died, the smoke alarms were going off when the fire dept arrived. Until you know the cause of the fire try not to be so cruel. People lost their lives and no one knows if it could have been prevented or not because we don’t know what the cause of the fire was. NU is a small community and everyone here pretty much knows someone in some way that was affected by the lose of these people. A very good friend of ours did daycare for the 3 yr old and her husband is on the fire dept, imagine how he felt knowing whose house it was and finding this little girl knowing there was nothing he could do for her or her family. Sometimes bad things happen and no one is at fault so until the Fire Marshall has a cause please keep your rude comments and opinions to yourself and just hope this doesn’t happen to you or anyone in your family. My niece and her whole class are shaken up by this lose because it now becomes realistic to them that they are not immortal.

  • upnorth

    She said it wasn’t going to be used for guests, yet she had a website listing rates, etc. It sounds like someone trying to avoid the cost of doing business legally. As far as a lawsuit, if she wasn’t licensed, there was probably no insurance either.

  • DJ

    The carriage house was licensed for guests the main house was not. The fire started on the exterior of the house on the front porch. When firefighters arrived on the scene they reported that smoke alarms were sounding. Past inspections had cited minor violations – battery replacements in dectectors, inspections of extinguishers, etc. which were all corrected.

    Since the fire started on the exterior of the home and moved so quickly it is highly improbable that a license or a recent inspection would have changed the outcome for the owner and her family. The guests however should have never been allowed to stay in the main house because it wasn’t licensed. Had a current license been issued it still would have not changed the outcome of this tragedy.

    • truefact

      You make no sense, even if the fire started in the front exterior, if every working alarm is blaring, arn;t there windows to jump from? I hate meaningless lawsuits, but I believe this 1 would be justified, I have to have my trucks inspected everyyear so they don’t suddenly have no brake pressure and slam into a car in front of me, of course it would be much cheaper for me to skip it

      • Grow Up

        Well, Mr Know-it-all “True Fact”, the fire alarms were blaring, the neighbors, firemen and police in New Ulm say they heard them. The fire spread so fast around the exterior of the house, if anyone else had jumped from windows, they would have burned alive. If you weren’t there and don’t have all the facts, SHUT UP.

        • @grow up

          Wow you read the same article as me, just because at full blaze the alarms were blaring doesn’t mean they were totally effective, glad you support non inspection, i hope the next plane you get on is not inspected and it crashes, also pelase explain you’re sentence “if anyone else had jumped from windows, they’d have burned alive’ um wasn’t the house on fire? why would jumping to the grass cause them to burn alive? now head to BK 2nd shift fry cook

          • Grow Up

            Wow did you read the same comment that I wrote? Where does it say I do not support inspections? The previous poster smarted off that if the fire alarms were working, why couldn’t people have jumped from the windows? The smoke alarms were working, the exterior was totally engulfed, the people who died, died from smoke inhalation, not being burned alive. Look at the photos of the house engulfed, there was no grass to jump onto from the windows with fire right outside them. Like I said, if you weren’t there, shut up. As for the BK fry cook remark, I don’t work there, but nice of you to insult the people who do.

          • Ditto

            To the @Grow Up poster criticizing what Grow Up said–I would have to agree with Grow Up–did you read the post at all? Where does it say the poster does not support inspections? Are you a mind reader? Did the writer strike a nerve with you, because you were probably the first poster and were told to grow up? Instead of getting upset, listen to it. 6 people died in a tragic fire, where it appears smoke alarms, although working, didn’t help. By the looks of the photos, it would’ve seemed improbable anybody could jump out the windows. Also, if the fire is on the exterior, and you open or break a window from the inside, you would probably get extensively burned with the fire being sucked into the new wide open space and fresh oxygen. It was a tragic accident. No need to be insulting.

  • Becky D.

    Read this article. It does a better job of explaining things.


  • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/07/07/victims-id%e2%80%99d-in-new-ulm-b-b-fire/ Victims ID’d In New Ulm B & B Fire « CBS Minnesota

    […] Details were released Thursday morning that the house hadn’t been recently inspected and wasn’t licensed for guests. Here is a link to that story. […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live