It's been an excruciatingly difficult week for a family in the Story County town of Huxley, Iowa.

48-year-old Brett Van Ersvelde was killed early Sunday when he and 44-year-old Julie McClain tried to rescue their 17-year-old autistic son, Dan, from a fire in their home. The three were removed from the home by rescue crews, but both Dan and Brett were unresponsive. Two daughters were able to get out of the house themselves.

Brett Van Ersvelde died from his injuries at an area hospital and Dan Van Ersvelde was taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, suffering from burns. The teen passed away from his injuries on Wednesday.

Authorities say the fire started in the kitchen, in the back of the home. Joe Marchesano of the Huxley Fire Department told WHO,

If you look from the front of the house, obviously, doesn't show very much. But if you go in the back, the back part of the house is completely destroyed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the entire Huxley community.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


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