ARMSTRONG - A couple living in Maple Hill, west of Armstrong, lost everything in a house fire last weekend.
Mike and Mary Rezac were able to escape without injury before Sunday's blizzard escalated the fire.
"They were just watching TV and getting ready for dinner when they heard their fire alarm go off," said Dennis Thackery, Mary Rezac's brother. "When they went to investigate, they found smoke and got out of the house and called the fire department."
Blizzard conditions Sunday hampered Gruver and Armstrong fire departments in getting to the blaze quickly, and wind gusts continued to hamper firefighters at the scene.
"They fought for about an hour, but the 50-60 mile an hour winds took over," Thackery said. "They just had to sit and watch it burn ... They lost everything: their family pictures, grandkids pictures and toys, everything but the clothes on their back. It was terrible for them to just sit and watch it all go."
The source of the fire was believed to be electrical, but because the house burned to the foundation, there is little evidence left to confirm the cause.
The couple is currently staying with their son in Estherville.
A fund to help the Rezacs has been set up for donations at Bank Midwest in Armstrong.