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3 Dead, 1 Critical In Mora Apartment Fire

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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WEB EXTRA: Mora Apartment Fire Photo Gallery

MORA, Minn. (WCCO) – Three people were killed and another person was critically injured in a Thursday morning apartment fire.

According to the Kanabec County Sheriff’s Department, the fire happened at a four-plex at about 7 a.m.

Three people were safely evacuated from the home, but crews later discovered two adults and one juvenile victim dead on the scene.

Another adult has been airlifted to the Twin Cities for hospitalization. That person was reported to be in critical condition.

“Everything was fine, then it wasn’t fine,” said Gary Norling. “I just don’t know what to say.”

When Norling left this apartment in the morning, he said his wife told him she was ready to leave shortly after.

“I didn’t think she was home. She went to work, you know, and then as I walked around there, then her car was there. Then I knew something was bad then, cause, you know, she didn’t go to work,” said Norling.

The Sheriff’s Department told Norling his wife, 68-year-old Shirley Norling, died in the fire.

“According to what they told me, like she wasn’t burned. She died of smoke inhalation,” said Norling.

The two had just celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary and have four grandchildren.

“It’s terrible. I don’t know what to do,” Norling said. “I don’t know what the next thing will be.”

He isn’t the only one grieving. Two others lost their lives, a father and his 12-year-old child who was a student at Trailview Elementary.

The Sheriff’s Department has yet to confirm the identities of the victims.

“It’s a sad day in Kanabec County and the City of Mora,” said Sheriff Steve Schulz, Sheriff of Kanabec County.

The Minnesota Fire Marshal has been summoned to help investigate the scene. The Mora Fire Department and the Minnesota State Patrol also assisted at the scene.

The Red Cross was on hand to assist a number of families in finding temporary shelter.

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