Two cats die in Merrill apartment fire
Structural damage limited to one unoccupied apartment unit
TINA L. SCOTT
A Christmas Eve Day fire resulted in the death of two pet cats at an apartment building on Memorial Dr. in the City of Merrill, but no human injuries were reported.
The Merrill Fire Department (MFD) responded to a report of a structure fire at 705 N. Memorial Dr. at 6:45 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 24, 2021. Merrill FD Engine-61, 63-Truck, and Med-62 arrived to find heavy smoke coming out of the windows of the four-unit apartment building.
“Firefighters forced entry into the apartment, extinguished the fire, and searched remaining apartment units for possible occupants,” said MFD Chief Josh Klug. “Only two apartments were occupied at the time of the fire, and those occupants evacuated without injury.”
The fire originated in the kitchen of one of the unoccupied apartments and, according to MFD, the cause of the fire was “unintentional and undetermined at this time.”
“All occupants had an alternative place to stay for the night if needed,” Klug said. “With damage primarily limited to the apartment unit with the fire, it’s optimistic that the other residents will be able to re-occupy their apartments soon.”
In addition to MFD, the Corning Fire Department, Pine River Fire Department, Merrill Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Merrill Street Department, Tomahawk EMS, Wisconsin Public Service, and off-duty Merrill firefighters responded and assisted with the incident.
“This is our department’s fourth structure fire since Thanksgiving, which means we now have four red bulbs for our Keep the Wreath Green fire prevention campaign,” Klug said.
Editor’s Note: The bulbs on the wreath represent MFD structure fires. There have been at least two other structure fires in Lincoln County outside of the MFD’s jurisdiction since Thanksgiving.