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Maus heard news of the fire while his son was being born. Pictured are Jennifer, James, Justin and Lynnea. (Greta Petrich/Osakis Review)

Osakis pulls together for family

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OSAKIS -- When he drove his wife to the hospital July 13, the last thing on James Maus' mind was his cows.

Yet while the young Osakis dairy farmer and his wife brought their son into the world, a community of neighbors worked to save his farm.

Maus' barn burned to the ground that night, killing 74 dairy cows.

No time to waste

They knew the baby was coming, so James worked until 10 p.m. baling and putting 2,000 bales of hay in the haymow above his dairy barn.

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