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Firemen awarded Certificate of Valor for rescuing toddler

by Trinity Gruenberg

The night of April 7 remains etched into the minds of the members of the Verndale and Wadena fire departments. Their life-saving efforts are the reason little Alaina is still with us today.

Both fire departments and four individuals were recognized with Certificates of Valor by the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office for their courageous efforts that night. The individuals from the Verndale Fire Department were Jamie Line, Tyler Fisher and Nate Witthuhn and Wadena Fireman Austin Beier.

Shortly before 9:45 p.m. on April 7, the page went out for the Wadena Fire Department to respond for mutual aid with the Verndale Fire Department for a structure fire with a one-year-old girl inside.

First on the scene was Verndale Fireman Jamie Line. He was in town at the Pirates Den when he received the page. He jumped in his vehicle and went straight to the scene, without any gear.

The homeowner, Karen Schultz, and Line had grabbed her ladder and threw it up against the side of the house so Line could get up to the second floor. He broke the window and attempted to enter the burning building, twice.

Verndale Fireman Tyler Fisher was next on the scene, also with no gear, not hesitating to climb up the ladder with a hose and passed it to Line to get the fire knocked out. Fisher climbed back down and got into his gear and headed back in.

Line could only make it in a few feet with no gear on. . .

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