MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 3-year-old boy has become the fourth victim of a fire in Hibbing that also killed a retired fire captain, his wife and another boy.
The fire occurred at a home on the 200 block of 42nd Street East just after 1:30 a.m.
When crews arrived they found 8-year-old Jonathan Gillitzer outside the home. Shortly before 2 a.m., firefighters removed four people – two adults and two children – from the house. Both children were taken to the hospital. One of the children – 9-year-old Todd Gillitzer – died later on Tuesday. Three-year-old Isaiah Adams has also died, the Hibbing fire marshal said Wednesday.
The two adults, identified as 67-year-old Steven Gillitzer and his 63-year-old wife Patricia Gillitzer, died while attempting to rescue their grandchildren, according to the fire marshal. Steven Gillitzer was a firefighter in Hibbing for nearly 25 years before retiring in 2000.
Jonathan Gillitzer told firefighters his grandfather woke him up, told him there was a fire and he needed to get out. Jonathan said he could not see anything because of the smoke and darkness, but said his grandfather threw him out the front door to safety before attempting to save the rest of the family.
The fire completely destroyed the home. The cause of the fire is still unknown.