Fire destroys N. Cedar home

A late-night fire on Nov. 5 in the 600 block of N. Cedar Street not only destroyed one home, but caused damage to neighboring homes as well. Olivia Sunlin and her 2-year-old daughter escaped their home without injury. To the left is the home of Gary and Heidi Boysen. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

Tammy Appleby-Brown’s home next to Sunlin’s also received some damage to the siding.

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, at approximately 11:15 p.m., the Monticello Fire Department was called to a fully engulfed house fire in the 600 block of N. Cedar St. 

The home of Olivia Sunlin and her 2-year-old daughter Ella was completely destroyed in the fire. Two homes on either side of Sunlin’s, owned by Gary and Heidi Boysen and Tammy Appleby-Brown, received some damage to the siding due to the heat of the fire. 

According to the MFD, “upon arrival, crews were met with heavy fire coming from the second story.” A family member of Sunlin, Kelsey Potter, confirmed the fire started in the garage, which sits next to the Boysen home. 

While the Sunlins safely made it out of the house, their two cats died in the fire. The Sunlins lost all of their possessions as well. A donation account, “Olivia Sunlin House Fire,” has been set up at Citizens State Bank in Monticello. There is also a GoFundMe account online at, search for “Olivia & Ella.” After only five days, $855 has been raised, with a goal of $1,000. 

The Sunlins want to thank everyone for their kind words and donations. 

The MFD remained on scene until approximately 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning for overhaul and hot spots. 


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