Two children unaccounted for in last night’s Lander fire; Cause still being determined

(Lander, Wyo.) – According to a number of social media posts and fundraising webpage, last night’s savage fire in Lander destroyed the home of the Van Dijk family. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

There have been numerous reports that two of the family’s five children were killed in the blaze, but authorities have not confirmed any fatalities. Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan was at the scene this morning and when asked to confirm any fatalities, he said that no one had been found.

“We have two that are unaccounted for,” Fremont County Fire Protection District Warden Craig Haslam said. In a news release, Fremont County Undersheriff Ryan Lee reported that the missing are both children.

Posts across social media indicate that some family members have been flown out to a burn center and others are being treated at SageWest Lander. Haslam believed two were flown out, but he wasn’t sure to where.

The fire broke out at about 6:30 p.m. The home at the corner of Lyons Valley Road and Highway 287, along with two vehicles, are a complete loss. Haslam is working with the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation. He said they have a couple theories as to the cause, but nothing is concrete at this time.

“Investigators from the Fremont County Sheriff and Coroner’s Offices, as well as officials from the Fremont County Fire District will be on the scene of the incident today searching for the two missing children and determining the origin and cause of the fire,” Lee said.

A fundraising page has been set up to make it easier for the community to help the family financially. As of 8:55 a.m. this morning, $4,310 had been raised through 43 donations in an eight hour period. Donate here. “I ask that the community keep this family in their thoughts throughout the day,” Lee said.

No firefighters were injured in the fight.

The Van Dijk family. Photo from

The Van Dijk family. Photo from


  1. Carol Alfke Whitehurst

    Prayers go out to this family.

  2. Sherry Peterson Evans


  3. Arthur Hernandez

    prayers are with you

  4. Cass Burnett

    My heart hurts for the family :( My prayers are with them

  5. Laurie Parazoo

    O my how horrible poor family! Hope everything turns out ok. Thinking of them

  6. Liz Shield

    Please everyone, donate whatever you can.

  7. Bev K Pedersen

    My heart goes out to the Family, Please donate at CB&T Fund raiser charges %5.

  8. Bev K Pedersen

    My heart goes out to the Family, Please donate at CB&T Fund raiser charges %5.

  9. Vernita Calling Thunder

    That's sooooo sad :-(

  10. Dee Romero

    Oh my……Tunkasila I ask that you wrap this family in your arms. Prayers of healing and strength sent their way :'(

  11. Katy Combs

    My thoughts and prayers go out for this family and their friends…how tragic:(

  12. Kimberly Worley

    find those that are missing!!!!!! my heart and prayers go out to this family may God be with them and give them the strength they need to survive this terrible situation …

  13. Amy Miller

    Oh how sad!!! Prayers to the family!!

  14. Michelle Rambo

    Prayers and love to the family! My heart hurts for them.

  15. Tecia Stroh Hubble

    Thoughts and prayers for your family

  16. Tia Warden

    i love how our community comes together to support those in need at their time of tragedy. way to go fremont county!!!!

  17. Kris Weimann

    Thanks to their community for so much support. Please help our family while we're on the East Coast & can figure out how to help them. Many many thanks from all of us. The Weimann Family

  18. Amber Christianson

    Praying! Lord I pray for this family! Strength, comfort and answers during this time of unimaginable difficulty.

  19. Gina Bowman Blumenshine

    Makes my heart hurt. Such a sad, sad thing.

  20. Veronica Hitshew

    Praying for you and your family! :-(

  21. Randy Ray

    prayers to those involved. Such a tragedy

  22. Lannette Lahey

    I cant even imagine!

  23. Linda Kay Carlson Remer

    This really makes my heart hurt. Such as a sad, sad thing. My prayers go out to the family.

  24. Marsha Anderson

    Are there family members that can come to be with them?

  25. Marsha Anderson

    As an old travel agent I may be able to help get family members here. Please call me 307 330-6184. Right now expense does not matter if family needs to get here we will make it happen.

  26. Bev Dalley

    Can't imagine the heartbreak :(…. Love and prayer to the family.

  27. Debbie Dalley McClure

    There are no words…I am praying that somehow, some way this family can be comforted. We have to rally as a community in those tangible ways to assist. Such a horrific tragedy…

  28. Nancy Hughes Dixon

    So heartbreaking…Words cannot express. Feike and Noelle, My heart is with you. May you find a sense of comfort knowing you are thought of and prayed for by so many. RIP Sweet Boys.

  29. Susan Johnson-Shaw

    Many prayers go out to Noelle, Feike, and family.My heart is aching for your loss. God bless you all~

  30. Lori Forshee

    my heart goes out to this family a very sad tragedy

  31. Darla Ann Harry-Kleiner

    keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers.

  32. Annie Greveling

    we bidden voor julie wees sterk en moedig en vertrouw op de HEER

  33. Kris Weimann

    Dear Marsha, thank you so much for your caring offer. At this point, i have passed your name & # on to someone in the family that needs it more than any of us. Noelle needs to get to Utah to see Feike. The community has been awesome w/ their generosity, their love, please help Noelle get to her husband. Thank you so very much for sharing your love & opening your hearts to people who really need it right now.

  34. Laetitia Batel

    God bless you and your family and give you His peace

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