Former Pine Island firefighter rebuilds after losing home to fire

"I was always on the other side, this is real this, this is not fun," Tony Olson said.

Posted: Jul 24, 2019 7:01 AM
Updated: Jul 25, 2019 9:11 AM

PINE ISLAND, Minn. - The path leading to the Olson's home in Pine Island, now leads to a pile of rubble.

The living room, kitchen, and bedrooms are all gone after a fire burned the house down on Sunday and reignited on Monday.

The front door is left folded in half in the front yard, its white coloring charred.

Tony and his wife, Tracy, were out of town on Sunday when a neighbor saw smoke coming from their house and called 911.

By the time the couple got there, it was too late.

"The inside was already pretty much gone," Tracy said.

Pine Island and Zumbrota Fire Departments battled the flames for hours, fighting hard for one of their own. Tony is a retired member of the Pine Island Fire Department after serving for 24 years.

"I was always on the other side, this is real, this is not fun," Tony said. Adding this about the fire crews, "they were great, they helped us out a lot."

Losing their home is hard, but its losing what is inside the home that is the most difficult.

"We have eight grandchildren so there were many, many, many things they made for us...I had plates from my great grandmas, grandmas...they're all gone," Tracy said while holding back tears.

The couple was able to salvage an American flag from Tony's dad's funeral.

While the Olson's continue to clean up, the Pine Island community is already lending a helping hand. People are donating clothes and sending prayers.

A GoFundMe page was also almost instantly set up to help the Olson's get back on their feet.

All of the help leaves the couple speechless.

"All the well wishes and love they're sending us is something else. You can't describe that," Tracy said.

If you'd like to donate to the Olson's, click here.

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