An early-morning fire left a Valley City family homeless Tuesday after destroying the residence and sending three family members to the hospital for minor injuries.
The Valley City Fire Department responded to a fire at the Schonert residence at 542 Fourth Avenue SW, Valley City at about 1:30 a.m. and battled the flames in sub-zero temperatures for the next five hours.
John and Linda Schonert and their children Tucker and Ashton all escaped the home with Linda and the children escaping through a second-story window and sliding off the roof of a covered porch before taking refuge at a neighbor's home, according to Valley City Fire Department Chief Gary Retterath. The three were treated for minor injuries at Mercy Hospital and released.
Tucker is a fifth-grader at Washington Elementary School and Ashton is an eighth-grader at Valley City Junior High. Washington School will be collecting donations for the family, who lost everything in the blaze, and money will be collected for the family during some school events this week.
Shoe sizes needed are boys' size 5, women's sizes 7.5 and 11 and men's size 11. Pants sizes needed are boys' size 10 youth (medium); women's sizes 12 and 14; and men's sizes 40 /32 and 33/32. Top sizes needed are boys' youth large shirts; women's size large or extra large; and men's size medium, large, extra large and 2XL.
Donations can be dropped off at the Valley City AmericInn for room 119 or at KLJ, located at 1010 Fourth Avenue Southwest in Valley City, for John Schonert.