By Kirsten Mitchell

CORCORAN, Minn. (WCCO) — A Minnesota family is without their home this Christmas after last week’s winter storm brought down a tree, which then took out a power line sparking a fire in their home.

Gideon Slabaugh never thought his family wouldn’t be spending their first Christmas with their newborn Ruth inside their Corcoran home.

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“The morning it happened she turned three-weeks-old,” Slabaugh said.

During last week’s storm, he was out working his overnight job while his wife and four kids were at home. As he was driving on his shift, his gut told him there was reason to be concerned.

“I just had this feeling come over me. I need to call my wife and tell her to keep the kids downstairs tonight don’t have them sleeping upstairs,” Slabaugh said.

The family slept in the living room, which allowed for his wife to hear a large pine tree toppling around 3 a.m. The tree fell on a power line, taking down two poles and pulling their line attached to the roof.

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“She went to get the kids up and make sure they were dressed warm because there was no power in the house. About a half-hour later she came to realize the house was on fire,” Slabaugh said.

All of them made it out safely but there’s major damage to the home, making it unlivable for an estimated 7-8 months. Nonetheless, the family is feeling thankful.

“Kids could have lost their life, my wife could have lost her life, but they didn’t. We are all here, nobody got hurt and that’s something I’m very grateful for,” Slabaugh said.

The family is staying in a hotel until they figure out a more temporary housing solution.

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Kirsten Mitchell