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Lakeview community reaches out as three graduates undergo burn treatment

Pictured are Lane Louwagie, Cole Busack and Brody Bloch. They were hurt in a bonfire accident on April 11.

COTTONWOOD — Three Lakeview High School graduates hurt in an accident a week ago are facing a long road to recovery. But at the same time, community members are reaching out in support of Brody Bloch, Cole Busack and Lane Louwagie.

“People continue to share support for the families,” said Lakeview Superintendent Chris Fenske. In some ways, he said, having a small and close-knit community has been a source of strength.

Bloch, 18, of Wood Lake, Busack, 20, of Echo, and Louwagie, 20, of Echo, had been friends all through school, community and family members said. Now all three are being treated at the burn unit of Hennepin County Medical Center after a bonfire accident in rural Granite Falls on April 11.

The three young men had gathered with other friends at the bonfire after the death of fellow Lakeview graduate Parker Viaene, 20, in an ATV crash the day before. When a flammable liquid was poured on the bonfire, a total of five people sustained burns, the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office said.

Bloch, Busack and Louwagie were airlifted to HCMC. Two more young men, Carter Timm, 20, of Echo, and Jacob Lymer, 18, of Wood Lake were treated for burns at Avera Granite Falls, the Sheriff’s Office said.

CaringBridge pages have been set up for Bloch, Busack and Louwagie. The pages say all three young men will need to undergo skin grafts and other medical procedures as a result of the accident.

According to his CaringBridge page, Bloch received second degree burns on his face, and second- and third-degree burns on his hands, torso and legs. He was placed on a ventilator. Bloch also tested positive for COVID-19 when he arrived at the hospital, so family members aren’t yet allowed to visit him in person.

Lane Louwagie said he sustained burns on over 60% of his body, including his face, hand and legs. Busack received second- and third-degree burns on his legs, the CaringBridge pages said.

Tamar Bloch, Brody Bloch’s mother, said it was hard only being able to talk to Brody over Zoom. For now, she said, she was “Just taking it hour by hour.” She said was thankful for the prayers and support people have offered.

GoFundMe accounts and other accounts have been opened to help Bloch, Busack and Louwagie and their families, said Shari Vien, a friend of the Louwagie family.

Fenske said Lakeview School has been sharing information about some of the ways to help the three burn victims and the Viaene family as they learn them, often during livestreams of school events. Fenske said the school is also a place where people can pick up car stickers in memory of Parker Viaene. There is a free will offering for the stickers, which will go to help the Viaene family, he said. People can call the Lakeview High School office at 507-423-5164, extension 1301, for more information, he said.

Here’s how to help

There are several ways people can assist the Bloch, Busack and Louwagie families.

Donation information for Brody Bloch:

• On GoFundMe.com, Brody’s Healing Fund

• On Venmo, Tamar-Bloch

Donation information for Cole Busack:

• On GoFundMe.com, Cole’s Healing Fund

Donation information for Lane Louwagie:

• On GoFundMe.com, Raising Donations for Lane Louwagie

• On Venmo, Lane-Louwagie

• By mail to: Citizens Alliance Bank, Attn: Lane Louwagie Benefit, P.O. Box 276, Echo MN, 56237

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