Wisconsin News

Friday, March 22, 2019

Firefighters quickly extinguish fire in Fitchburg apartment complex wall

First responders quickly extinguished a small fire in a Fitchburg apartment complex wall Thursday night, according to a news release from the Fitchburg Fire Department. The Fitchburg Fire Department responded to a reported alarm activation reported around 6:18 p.m. Thursday at 2021 Greenway Cross. When firefighters arrived at the scene, they requested a full structure fire response after using thermal imaging cameras to find a smoldering fire in a basement wall. Crews opened the wall, which caused the fire to ignite. Firefighters had the flames completely extinguished just after 6:33 p.m. The property is a 16-unit multi-family dwelling. None of the residents were injured or displaced as a result of the fire, according to the release.
WISC-TV Channel 3000.com Madison

Family displaced after New London fire

A family is displaced after a house fire Thursday night. It happened around 10:00 p.m. when the fire department was called to the home on South Mill Street. Firefighters found the kitchen of the home in flames. A woman was home when the fire started, along with her three children. Her husband was not home at the time. They were able to get out safely and no one was hurt. The woman says she was cooking food when grease caught on fire. The fire department contacted the Red Cross and the family was placed in a local hotel.

Follow Up: Promoted Oconto firefighters get new badges

Three career firefighters received badges reflecting their promotions at the March 12 pinning ceremony hosted by Oconto Fire and Rescue Department. Josh Bostedt is now deputy chief of OFRD, a new position that is second in command of the department and has decision-making authority when the chief is not available. “He has certainly earned it through all the hard work and dedication in the past 20 years,” Fire Chief John Reed said. After his wife, Emily, pinned his badge, Bostedt said it was an honor to be the first deputy chief at OFRD. “This position is not a dream or even a realization without these individuals you see standing alongside me,” he said, referring to the semicircle of career and paid on-call firefighters around him. “They all bring something to the table … they all bring forth a well-versed knowledge that helps a person to get into a position like this and to be able to make great decisions.”
Green Bay Press-Gazette

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Oconto’s first female firefighter realizes childhood dream

Tabitha Vande Voort first wanted to become a firefighter after a tree fell on her father while she was still in grade school. That desire solidified about 12 years later, thanks to a few quiet words of encouragement from the man who now leads the Oconto Fire and Rescue Department. Vande Voort is now, another decade later, one of eight full-time career firefighters for the Department. “It’s pretty awesome being the first female full-time firefighter in Oconto,” Vande Voort said after receiving her badge in a pinning ceremony March 12. Fire Chief John Reed, noting her achievement was “quite an undertaking,” heartily agreed.
Green Bay Press-Gazette

Trial date pushed back for Pleasant Prairie man accused of attempted homicide in arson fire

The trial is being pushed back for a former firefighter accused of trying to kill his aunt in a series of arson fires. Keith Kauppi, 30, of Pleasant Prairie, is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree homicide. He is accused of setting fire to the couch where his 70-year-old aunt was sleeping at his parent’s Pleasant Prairie home in June 2017. That aunt was initially charged with arson after an investigation by Pleasant Prairie Police. But within days of the Pleasant Prairie fire, authorities in Illinois charged Kauppi with setting fire to two different homes in Illinois where the same aunt had been living in 2016 and 2017. Investigators there allege Kauppi had been stealing money from his aunt and set the fires to cover that up.
Kenosha News

Hales Corners Fire Captain accused of leaving post, sexually harassing coworker

The Hales Corners Fire Chief wants one of his captains fired. Captain John Wagner is accused of sexual harassment and jeopardizing public safety. With 24 years of fire and emergency medical experience, he'd been hired as a fire prevention captain for the Hales Corners Fire Department. A year and a half later, Chief Martin Freibergs filed disciplinary charges against him. The Chief told the Police and Fire Commission that Wagner was found to have sexually harassed a 19-year-old subordinate, asking her several questions about her sex life. The Chief also says that in January, Wagner left the station in the middle of a shift. No one else on duty was able to drive a fire engine and when there was a car fire, Hales Corners had to call Greendale to put it out. Wagner's lawyer didn't respond to calls or emails from CBS 58 News. The Commission President said Wagner has appealed the charges against him.
WDJT-TV CBS 58 Milwaukee

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