Early morning fire destroys Town of Pine River home

The family’s one-story home is considered a total loss. Photo courtesy of Pine River Fire Department.

BY TINA L. SCOTT
EDITOR

A single-story home in the Town of Pine River is a total loss after a fire broke out in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 1, 2024.
The Town of Pine River Fire Department (PRFD) was dispatched to the home on Town Line Rd., Merrill. “Upon arrival, firefighters found a single-story structure with heavy flames showing from the front and roof,” a release from Pine River Fire Department Captain Mike Caylor said. The engine and tender were the first two units on the scene, and the engine had to back into the narrow driveway as the tanker dropped basket and established water. Two crosslays were deployed and a 2” off the back, he said. “An exterior attack was initiated and the bulk of the fire was quickly knocked down, although it did extend into other areas of the home. Firefighters continued to find and extinguish hot spots throughout the morning hours.”
Town of Hewitt, Town of Russell, and Town of Texas Fire Departments and Merrill EMS were also called to the scene to assist, along with Wisconsin Public Service.
The fire could have been tragic, but thankfully ended with no injuries or loss of life.
According to the PRFD, the preliminary investigation indicates the fire started at the front of the house in the bedroom of the family’s three-month-old baby girl; however, the night prior, the parents had elected to bring the baby into their bedroom which was on the opposite side of the home.
“The home was also equipped with multiple smoke detectors which alerted the family to the fire,” the press release said. “It is the opinion of the Pine River Fire Department that if not for the proper use of and maintenance of smoke detectors, the community would have woken up to a very tragic event.”
“Thankfully, the homeowner did things correctly and it very likely saved their lives.”
In addition, “A family pet, [initially] thought lost to the fire, came walking up to a firefighter investigating the fire Saturday afternoon,” the release said.
The PRFD said the home was insured but a financial donation site may be set up in the future. Family, friends, and the American Red Cross are assisting the family.
The PRFD also wants to credit the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Lincoln County 911 Center for their response on this call.

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