Two Future New Ulm Residents Killed in House Fire | News, Sports, Jobs
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Two Future New Ulm Residents Killed in House Fire | News, Sports, Jobs

Two Future New Ulm Residents Killed in House Fire | News, Sports, Jobs

: Steven Kuehl with his wife Charis and children (from left to right): Vera, Stella and Norah.

NECEDAH, Wis. – Future New Ulm residents Charis Kuehl, 38, and 5-year-old Stella Kuehl died in a house fire in Necedah, Wisconsin, on Sunday, June 30.

Steve and Charis Kuehl, with their three children Vera, Nora, and Stella, are from Columbus, Ohio. They were all supposed to move to New Ulm because Steve Kuehl had been offered a teaching position at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School.

In a news release, the Juneau County Sheriff’s Office said it received a 911 call about the fire at 2:35 a.m. The home was fully engulfed in flames when deputies arrived. After three hours of extinguishing the fire and remaining on scene for 12 hours, six people were found dead. The fire is believed to be accidental. A total of six state and local agencies were called to the scene.

Charis Kuehl’s father, Steve Witte, sister Lydia Witte and nieces Lena and Merci Henselin were also killed, according to a GoFundMe page for the Kuehl family organized by Andrew Naumann and Steve Kuehl. They said the extended family was on vacation and the house was a rental.

As of July 8, more than $160,000 has been raised through GoFundMe. Naumann and Kuehl said all the money raised will be split two ways. The first half will go toward current needs, and the second half will go toward Vera and Nora’s future education. The family is still planning to move to New Ulm.

Steve Kuehl wrote in a statement posted on his Facebook profile that he is humbled by the love and concern and shocked by the sudden deaths of Charis and Stella.

“We know that for each of them the basic identity is”child of Heavenly Father,” he said. “With God’s grace we do not ask for “Why” “This is a question that so many people ask themselves because it is entirely in the loving will of the Lord to call His beloved children to Himself in heaven to live the Life that is true life.”

Kuehl said that despite the darkness and deep pain caused by what happened, he knows the Lord is still with him and his family.

“One direct example of his incredible methods is the GoFundMe fundraiser I found out about on Wednesday that has been growing ever since.” he said. “My heartfelt thanks go to all those who have helped to virtually eliminate all current and future financial uncertainty caused by this tragedy.”

Kuehl said the ceremony will likely take place in about two weeks for Charis and Stella Kuehl, but a date has not been set yet. He said he will post an update with additional information.

To see Kuehl’s full statement, visit To see the GoFundMe, visit

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