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Published April 19, 2013, 10:40 PM

Benefit held for burn victims

Last December, a fish house parked near the shoreline of Lake of the Woods exploded, sending five men to the hospital. Four of those five men are out now and the East Grand Forks community is holding a benefit auction for the survivors.

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

Last December, a fish house parked near the shoreline of Lake of the Woods exploded, sending five men to the hospital. Four of those five men are out now and the East Grand Forks community is holding a benefit auction for the survivors.

Most of these men spent weeks in the hospital recovering from severe burns. Now that they've survived an explosion they face very high medical bills.

December 30th, Rodney, his two sons Jacob and Joel -- and two of his friends survived the impossible.

Rodney Bolstad: "I woke up in the snow bank with my skin laying alongside me, you know. I remember bits and pieces all the way to the Baudette hospital. I remember some of the worst pain I've ever felt was there."

The five men were sleeping in a "Wheelhouse style" fish house when the propane tank exploded.

Joel Bolstad: "I could see that everything was burnt and stuff and my finger tips and I just stuck my hands in the snow."

Jacob Bolstad: " I went up to the lodge and I'll never forget their faces when I walked through the door. I imagined it looked like a horror show."

The five men were rushed to the Baudette hospital and from there they were air lifted to the Millard - Dawn Burn Center in Duluth, Minnesota. Their stays ranged from 20 days to a month.

Rodney:"After I found out that everyone was still alive -- thankful."

Companies and private entities have all donated items to auction off. They range from hoodies to gift cards. All of the proceeds go to Rodney and his family.

Rodney: "But to see, all this. It's kind of overwhelming."

All of the men are still recovering but their friend Will Huotari is still in critical condition at the hospital. As for the medical costs? One of Rodney's children added up his bills. The total for one person is about $400,000.

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