Summary: The family of an 11-year-old boy who’d been overcome by toxic fumes on his family’s farm kept a vigil in his hospital room, hoping for a Christmas miracle.
The incident: It was a few days before Christmas and Alex Boesl, 11, was looking forward to the special day. In the meantime, however, his dad, Curt Boesl, wanted Alex to help with some chores on their family farm near Brandon, MN.
Alex and his dad climbed to the top of a silo used to store animal feed. The wet feed inside the silo had created a toxic stew of dangerous gases.
Within seconds of entering the silo, Alex and Curt were knocked unconscious by the fumes.
The response: When another son who was standing outside the silo realized something was wrong, he called 9-1-1 and contacted his uncle, Steve Boesl, who lived nearby.
Steve immediately climbed to the top of the silo. But within seconds, he too was overcome by toxins.
When firefighters arrived, they found three motionless bodies. Steve was declared dead at the scene, while Curt was transported to a hospital, where he died.
Alex was airlifted to a children’s hospital in Minneapolis, where friends and family began a vigil for his recovery.
The aftermath: The family’s Christmas miracle didn’t happen. Alex died in the hospital six days after the incident.
“Alex danced his way into heaven with one of his favorite songs on his phone playlist, ‘Fight Song’ by Rachel Platten, playing,” said an entry on the GoFundMe page launched to help the Boesl family.
“We have no doubt that Alex will be united with his dad in heaven, as Curt waits for him with his arms wide open.”
(From the Jan. 21, 2020, issue of Safety Alert for Supervisors)