BALATON — Charges are pending after three young men were arrested in connection to a southwestern Minnesota farmhouse fire that killed a husband and wife in their 70s.
The fire Thursday in Balaton killed 75-year-old Jim Hively and his wife, Cathy, who was 71.
Three men ranging in age from 18 to 21 and all from that area of the state are under arrest, and charges could come as soon as Monday, the Star Tribune reported. All are suspected of arson and burglary. Two of them also are suspected of murder.
Emergency responders were called to the home 15 miles south of Marshall about 9 a.m., the Lyon County sheriff's office said. The Hivelys' bodies were taken to the Twin Cities, where a medical examiner will determine a precise cause of death and how they died.
The sheriff's office has said little about the fire, only that it "does not believe there is an ongoing threat to public safety."
The couple's family released a statement, saying the Hivelys should "be remembered for the loving, hardworking farm couple they were."
"They were parents who loved, cared for, and served their family, friends and neighbors," the statement said.
The statement also noted the couple's many kindnesses, among them preparing and serving a community Thanksgiving meal at the armory and "baking and sharing treats with all the local school staff members."
The Rev. Bernie Wing, associate pastor at Grace Life Church in Marshall, where Jim and Cathy Hively attended, told the Independent of Marshall that the Hivelys were "the kind of people who didn't want the limelight. They were a good example. They didn't just talk the talk."
Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Victory Christian Church in Balaton.