WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 28, 2013, 10:29 PM

A fire in Hawley, Minnesota claims a girl's life

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV)-- Early morning flames engulfed a Hawley home, trapping a young girl inside.

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV)-- Early morning flames engulfed a Hawley home, trapping a young girl inside.

The massive fire destroyed the structure, killing 15-year-old Rylie Efterfield. People around town say the disaster looked like an inferno.

Multiple rescue squads raced to 702 6th Street - but it took hours before the fire was out.

Rylie was the oldest of six kids. Those of which neighbors say their kids know very well.

Angela Tighe- Neighbor: "I think it's going to be real hard a lot of the kids to understand what's going on."

Friends say the young teen was full of energy, was always outdoors and liked volleyball.

The initial call came in around 1:30 a.m. The house was erupted in flames, which usually holds six kids. But only 5 were accounted for."

A yard which once was filled with laughter, is now replaced, with feelings of grief.

Baily Halverson- Neighbor: "I heard screaming."

Kristin Bonham escaped the burning home as quickly as the flames tore through the home.

Two of her children trailed behind. Three were lucky enough to be spending the night somewhere else. But as soon as the 17-year-old neighbor heard the screams of terror

Halverson: "My baby's in there, help me, my baby's in there."

She knew one was still trapped.

Halverson: "I looked over and there was a giant flame on the west side of the house. And the mom was out there. She was obviously just beside herself. Just screaming because her daughter was inside."

Bailey Halverson tells us the 15-year-olds bedroom is located near the top.

Toby Tomlinson- Neighbor: "Everyone is still in so much shock."

Likely where firefighters later found Rylie Efterfield.

Tomlinson: "I've never seen anything like it. Only in the movies. There was so much smoke."

Toby Tomlinson lives two doors down. She says the big family is popular in town. Kids from all around the block play with the children, including Rylie.

Tomlinson: "A lot of energy, she babysat for me a couple of times. She was the oldest of six children, she was 15."

"She always had a smile on her face, I know that. She had a great smile."

Bailey remembers Rylie with many friends.

Halverson: "Seems so simple, I thought the fire department was going to show up, put the flames out, get her out of there and it would be fine."

A young girl, who had a future.

Halverson: "It was unbelievable."

Now, I spoke with the Hawley fire chief this afternoon and he said they have no clue where this fire started and they don't even know if there were fire alarms in this house.

Also on scene assisting the family, the American Red Cross. For now, the children will stay with their father in Hawley. The mother, Kristin Bonham is staying with family.