Merrill area fire departments respond to three structure fires Saturday
Mutual aid served the Merrill Fire Department well on Saturday. During a three-hour period, the fire department was dispatched to three different structure fires.
During the course of these incidents, mutual aid was received from the Corning Fire Department, Pine River Fire Department, Wausau Fire Department, Tomahawk Fire Department, Tomahawk EMS, Wisconsin DNR and Russell Fire Department. Police assistance was received from the Merrill Police Department and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. No injuries were reported in any of the fires.
At 12:08 p.m., Lincoln County 911 Communications Center dispatched the Merrill Fire Department for a report of a truck fire inside of a storage unit at W4611 Cty. C in the town of Merrill. This was the first incident that the new Merrill Tender 65 responded to.
Prior to arrival of the fire department, two bystanders hooked a chain on the truck, and a deputy sheriff used his SUV squad car to pull the flaming truck out of the storage unit. The deputy and two bystanders expelled three dry chemical extinguishers on the fire. A Wisconsin DNR brush truck was in the area and prior to the arrival of the fire department, the DNR ranger extinguished the fire with about 50 gallons of water.
Upon arrival, Engine 2 assumed command and Merrill Fire member checked for fire extension in four of the adjoining storage units.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The loss is valued at $5,000 for fire, smoke and water damage.
At 1:08 p.m., a neighbor on Jackson Street called the Merrill Fire Department business line to report that a large amount of smoke was coming out of the Yorde Tool & Machining building at 1111 Jackson St. Lincoln County 911 Communication Center was contacted by the fire department to advise them of the fire, simultaneously the dispatch center was receiving 911 calls of the fire.
The Merrill Fire Department responded to the scene, with mutual aid from Corning Fire Department and the Wisconsin DNR. Standby coverage came from Wausau Fire Department, Pine River Fire Department and Tomahawk EMS.
On arrival, Engine 2 assumed command and reported the main area of smoke was gray to blue in color on the west side of the building just south of a fire wall. A defensive fire attack from the outside of the structure was deployed. Wisconsin Public Service disconnected the power to the building. Fire crews were able to stop the progress of the fire at the fire wall that separates the building into two areas. Schulz’s Wrecking was called to the scene with a clam shell crane to expose pockets of fire under the collapsed roof.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The loss is estimated at $400,000 to the structure and contents for fire, smoke and water damage.
Business owners, Duane and Becky Yorde thanked firefighters for their quick actions and the community for their support. They said normal business operations will resume after electricity and other services are restored. They expect to be up and running within the week.
At 2:57 p.m., while fire companies were extinguishing the Jackson Street fire, another structure fire was reported at 402 N. Genesee St. Initial response included Merrill Fire Ladder Truck 1 and Med 1, Corning engine, Pine River engine and Tomahawk EMS ambulance. Standby coverage came from Wausau Fire Department ambulance and Tomahawk Fire Department engine.
Upon arrival, command was established and reported light smoke coming from the attic. Further investigation found a fire in a lower level bedroom. Companies deployed a hose line to the seat of the fire and extinguished the blaze. A ventilation can was used to remove the smoke from the structure. Company members checked for fire extension throughout the house. The fire was contained to the room of origin and its contents.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The loss is valued at $23,000 to the structure and contents for fire, smoke and water damage.