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Letter carrier delivers help

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Earlier this month, Steve Behling, a part-time rural route driver for the Laporte Post Office, went beyond the famous motto: "Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds."

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On May 13, Lorraine Klaus and her neighbor, Dave Guthrie, were drinking coffee and watching her 2-year-old grandson, Waylon St. Marie, and his 3-year-old son, Jonathan Guthrie as the boys enjoyed a play date at the Klaus residence in Guthrie.

Suddenly, the pleasant gathering turned into a crisis.

"A tree fell down on our power line," Klaus said. "It started our house on fire. Live wires. Very dangerous."

Because the falling tree cut the electric power to the Klaus house, the water pump wasn't working. Klaus and Guthrie fought the fire while they waited for the Laporte Fire Department to arrive. But they had to carry buckets of water from the Guthrie house about 300 yards from the burning Klaus residence and, at the same time, try to watch the two young boys.

At that point, Behling came along on his Laporte postal route.

"I work for the Park Rapids Post Office, but I help out in Laporte on Wednesdays," he said. "I saw her (Klaus). She was up by the street. She had kind of a desperate look."

Behling said Klaus asked him for help.

"I went in the yard and watched the little guys," he said. "Anything I could so to help out. She went in (the house) and rescued the dogs. I was there until the fire department came in about 10 minutes."

He said the boys were calm about the situation, and not shy of him.

"I don't think they understood what was happening," he said.

Behling said he was on the route again Wednesday, and the house was intact.

Debbie Lathrop, officer in charge of the Laporte Post Office, said she notified the postal district office of Behling's good deed.

"He's a very caring person - very attentive," she said.

mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com

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