Rushford family of six severely injured in Halloween house fire

Submitted Photo The children of Jared and Erin Cordes, Teagan (5), Peyton (3) Domanic (15) and Ravyn (7).
Chad Smith

The Rushford Fire Department responded to a fire call at the rural home of Jared and Erin Cords in the wee hours of Halloween at 12:42 a.m. Firefighters arrived just minutes later, to find the home fully engulfed in flames, though the Cords family had all managed to escape the building.

However, there were some serious injuries as a result of the blaze. Rushford Fire Chief Chad Rasmussen said the house had “pretty much already burned down” by the time the firemen got there. “All six of the family members were out of the house,” he said. “When we first pulled up on the scene, we didn’t know they’d sustained injuries. While the firefighters did their work to put the blaze out, I saw the family sitting together in a squad car. When I attended to their injuries, I noticed four of the six family members had suffered severe burns over a good portion of their bodies. It was terrible.

“At that point, I called for helicopters but were told they were all out on other calls,” Rasmussen said. “So, we called out for ambulances from Rushford, Houston, Winona, and La Crosse. We sent off family members to various hospitals before one of the helicopters became available. We sent the father off in the helicopter to take him straight to the burn unit at Regions Hospital in the Twin Cities.”

 Jared and Erin Cords both suffered injuries as a result of the blaze. Also injured were their children: Peyton (3), Teagan (5), and Ravyn (7), and they’re expected to be in the hospital for some time. Erin and 15-year-old foster son Domanic were treated and released. They have joined the rest of the family, who are all now at the Burn Unit in Regions Hospital.

“One thing I want people to know is, without the effort of Jared Cords, this story could have ended much differently,” Rasmussen said. “When his wife woke him up, the house was fully engulfed. He immediately ran upstairs, got the kids, and got them out by literally having to run through the fire. Dominac ended up jumping out the upstairs window.”

Rasmussen said the fire department was on the scene for about five hours.

Upcoming benefits

A free will donation biscuits and gravy breakfast benefit for the Cords family, sponsored by the Sons of the American Legion, will be held this Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Rushford American Legion from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until gone.

A second benefit is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Rushford American Legion beginning at 5 p.m. This benefit will include a meal with free will donation and both silent and live auctions. Monetary and gift card donations can be sent to: Jared Cords & Family c/o Rushford State Bank, PO Box 648, Rushford, MN 55971. Donations for the benefit can also be dropped off at the Rushford American Legion or at Jordy Graham American Family Insurance in Rushford.