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Death of 10-year-old girl under investigation

Firefighters battle a blaze among large hay bales on the Todd Heideman farm west of Adrian. After the blaze was extinguished, it was discovered that 10-year-old Perri Heideman was missing. Her body was found in one of the bales.

ADRIAN — A 10-year-old girl was found dead Thursday night, a victim of a fire that ignited round bales of hay at a farm west of Adrian.

The Adrian Fire Department was dispatched at 6:50 p.m. Thursday to the Todd Heideman farm at 25773 Ahlers Ave. The body of Perri Heideman, 10, was discovered after the Adrian and Ellsworth fire departments extinguished the fire.

“The Adrian Fire Department, assisted by the Ellsworth Fire Department, were working on putting out the fire, when a short time later the family noticed that Perri was missing,” Nobles County Sheriff Kent Wilkening said.

“We did a search of the property and didn’t find anything,” Wilkening added. “Once the fire was put out, the fire department started to search and take the bales apart, and they found her laying amongst the bales. She was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

The case remains under investigation, and a cause of the fire has not been determined. According to Wilkening, the fire marshal will give a full report next week on the possible cause of the blaze.

“He was out Thursday night to investigate, and told us that the full report would be given next week,” Wilkening said.

The Adrian Fire Department was assisted by the Ellsworth Fire Department and the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office.

Firefighters were called back to the scene Friday morning to put out some minor flare-ups.

According to Wilkening, a debriefing to help firefighters cope with the incident is being arranged as soon as possible.

Ellsworth Middle School, which Heideman attended, provided counseling services Friday for students, and they will continue throughout next week as needed.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester

may be reached at 376-7322.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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