Prescott family escapes house fire

Posted 3/8/22

Home is a total loss; community rallies PRESCOTT – Everyone was sleeping on the morning of Friday, Feb. 25 at 394 Gibbs St. when Ashley Boyer’s 5-year-old nephew came into the bedroom and woke …

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Prescott family escapes house fire


Home is a total loss; community rallies

PRESCOTT – Everyone was sleeping on the morning of Friday, Feb. 25 at 394 Gibbs St. when Ashley Boyer’s 5-year-old nephew came into the bedroom and woke her up. She heard the words that we all dread. The house was on fire.

Boyer ran from her bedroom into the living room, which was filled with smoke. She yelled for her 15-year-old son, John, who was sleeping downstairs. He immediately ran upstairs and whisked his 6-year-old sister, Sky, and Boyer’s nephew out the door over to the neighbor’s house.

Boyer attempted to put the fire out herself, but it was growing too quickly. Flames engulfed the drapes and the whole front of the house was

See FIRE, Page 11

A fire broke out at 394 Gibbs St. in Prescott on Friday, Feb. 25. The home is considered a total loss, but thankfully, the family was able to escape. Photo courtesy of City of Prescott.

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aflame. She had burns on her arms and couldn’t risk getting hurt more. She ran to the stairs leading to the basement, where her friend was sleeping. She yelled for her, but her friend didn’t hear her. By the time the fire was intense and she had to flee.

“It was too late and the house was going up pretty fast,” Boyer said. “It went up within minutes.”

The neighbors called 911 and Boyer waited anxiously outside as her rental home and all of her belongings went up in flames. When the fire department arrived, they spent 10-15 minutes getting Boyer’s friend out of the basement, where she was trapped. The window wasn’t an egress window and they needed to use tools to cut through the concrete.

“I was really nervous that we weren’t going to be able to get her out,” Boyer said. “But the fire department did their due diligence and acted very quickly.”

An ambulance transported her friend to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where she stayed for four days, Boyer said. She had minor burns on her forehead and hand from trying to walk up the stairs.

Prescott Fire Chief Tim Lytle said 15 Prescott firefighters received mutual aid from Hastings Fire Department. They were on the scene for about three hours and weather was not a factor. Lytle said the cause is still under investigation by the insurance company.

The family lost everything in the house, which Boyer said is considered a total loss.

“The garage is the only thing that survived,” Boyer said. She was able to back her truck out, and the kids’ bikes and the lawnmower could be saved. More devastating than losing their belongings, which is horrible enough, the family believes their black Lab/Pitbull mix, Leah, perished in the fire. Boyer said her son was especially close to the dog, so he’s taking it hard. They feel if she had gotten out, she would have stuck close to home and seen them all standing outside.

A bright spot in all of this is the community’s support, Boyer said. She is grateful and humbled.

“The Prescott community has been nothing but amazing for the entire time,” Boyer said. “The next-door neighbor sprung into action and got everyone shoes and socks, because we ran out of the house barefoot. And the school district has donated so much. The outpouring has been so amazing. We’ve been able to keep the kids in school.”

The family found a new home fairly quickly in Hastings, which is close enough for the kids to stay in Prescott schools.

Neighbor Kathy Licht has started a Gofundme page for the family, which can be found at The page has raised about $6,700 so far of a $10,000 goal. According to the page, the Boyers did not have renter’s insurance.