Wisconsin News

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Firefighters sound alarm over equipment, staffing shortage in Menomonee Falls

Menononee Falls community members and firefighters themselves showed up at a public hearing Monday night to express their concern over the staffing shortage in the village's fire department. "We're gambling and hoping that nothing happens," Menomonee Falls firefighter Kevin Myers said. Myers is also president of the local union. He's sounding alarms about a shortage of firefighters, equipment and leadership. The assistant chief recently called it a department in "crisis." "The fire department has been decimated by the director of protective services," Myers said. The director of protective services, though, painted a different picture of a department in chaos before she took over in 2012. She defended herself as fully able to oversee both the Menomonee Falls Police and Fire departments.
WISN-TV ABC 12 Milwaukee

No injuries during fire at Town of Maine Fire Department

A fire has been reported at the Town of Maine's Fire Department building. That building is on County Highway WW, at the intersection of County Highway K. According to a Fire Chief with the Maine Fire Department, no one is injured and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. NewsChannel 7 crews at the scene say smoke can be seen rising from the top of the building. The Wausau Fire Department is on scene, and appears to be evaluating the smoke. The Marathon County Sheriffs Deputies have also responded. Stay with NewsChannel 7 as we continue to learn the very latest.
WSAW-TV CBS 7 Wausau

La Crosse Fire Department begins process to potentially add a new fire station

During last week's Common Council meeting, the La Crosse City Council approved for the La Crosse Fire Department to conduct a feasibility study on adding a new fire station. Currently the department has four stations throughout the city. "They were built to the time when the fire service was just different. The trucks were a lot smaller so our apparatus are barely fitting in the bays. We don't have a lot of room to work with down on the apparatus floors, as well as back when these stations were built there weren't co-ed living arrangements, or working arrangements. In the fire service there were no females," said La Crosse Fire Chief Ken Gilliam. For the potential new station, the department says they want it to be on La Crosse's southside. Gilliam says the department is looking at the southside because that is where the community is continuing to grow.
WEAU-TV 13 News

Farm machinery ignites hay, starts barn fire in Manitowoc County

Howard's Grove Fire Department responded to a large barn fire in Manitowoc County Monday. It happened at a privately-owned farm in the town of Meeme. Officials say no animals were injured in the fire. Investigators believe the fire started when some farm machinery ignited hay.
WDJT-TV CBS 58 Milwaukee

’I rescued him, he rescued me’: Dog saves family from fire in Belleville

With the exception of some clothes and a few family photos, the Popenfus family lost everything in a fire at their Belleville, Dane Co. home this weekend. What they do have: their lives and their dog. “I rescued him, he rescued me,” says Amanda Popenfus, of her 3-year-old Lab, Mastiff and Cane Corso mix Waylan. “Sunday morning at about 4:20, this wonderful man right here woke us up." Early Sunday morning, Waylan sensed something his owners couldn’t. “A dog's sense of smell is exponentially greater than the human's sense of smell,” says Chanse Kaczmarski, Deputy Fire Chief with Belleville Volunteer Fire Department. “So that dog could probably smell that fire burning long before any human would have detected it." In fact, Popenfus says Waylan was the only thing alerting her.
WMTV-TV NBC 15 Madison

Monday, July 15, 2019

Were going to help: Motorcyclists ride together to support the Milwaukee Junior Fire Institute

For the second time, bikers geared up for a ride to raise awareness and funding for the Milwaukee Junior Fire Institute. The proceeds from the ride would make a world of difference for those dreaming of becoming a first responder. "These kids are experiencing what fire is like for the first time," explained Lt. Jeff Halsey, Milwaukee Fire Department. At the Milwaukee Junior Fire Institute, young people, ages 14-20, learn firsthand what it takes to be a firefighter during a four-day overnight camp which would not be possible without the bikers. "Without their support, we would not be able to make this program work," said Halsey.
WITI Fox Channel 6

Exeter fire totals house, leads to $400,000 in damages

A house in Exeter was totaled after a fire caused $400,000 in damage Sunday morning. The Belleville Fire Department was dispatched to W. 2914 Willow Lane at 4:26 a.m. after reports of a residential structure fire. According to a Facebook post from the Belleville Fire Department, the family's dog alerted the homeowners to the fire. The family found out the fire was near the front of the house. The entire family and dog made it out safely, and none of the firefighters were hurt. Dane County dispatch said the fire was fully extinguished by 5:30 a.m. The fire's cause is still unknown. The Belleville Fire Department is currently accepting cash and gift card donations to help the family.
WISC-TV CBS 3 Madison

Fire causes $100,000 in damage to shed in Washington County

Firefighters on Sunday night, July 14 responded to the scene of a shed fire on Kettle View Drive near Badger Road in the Town of Kewaskum. The call came in around 9 p.m. The shed, which had become fully engulfed, was extinguished by fire personnel. The shed, and its contents, were a total loss estimated at over $100,000. Kettle View Drive was closed in the area for approximately three hours, to facilitate firefighting. No one was injured as a result of the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
WITI-TV FOX 6 Milwaukee

No one hurt after a vehicle caught on fire in Kaukauna

Firefighters say no one was hurt after a vehicle was found on fire. The Kaukauna Fire Department responded for a report of a vehicle fire with flames visible around 3:07 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. Arriving firefighters found the vehicle parked on the side of 14th street away from any buildings. The occupant of the vehicle had parked and exited the vehicle after he noticed smoke. The occupant attempted to get some water from a nearby home, but was unsuccessful. Firefighters were able to contain the fire underneath the hood of the car and in the engine compartment. They then extinguished the fire. The personal belongings in the vehicle were all salvageable including owners’ wallet and vehicle title. The vehicle was just purchased a few months ago for $500 and the new owner had come from Michigan to bring it home.
WFRV-TV and WJMN-TV Green Bay

Rice lake man charged with arson, mistreatment of animals and disorderly conduct

A Rice Lake man has been charged with arson of a building, mistreating animals and disorderly conduct. According to a Barron County criminal complaint, 37-year-old Eric Thorson of Rice Lake was out of control and had started a fire. Thorson was reported taking kittens out of his apartment and throwing them at the concrete ground, claiming he wanted to kill them all. Officials say, while the kittens were being collected, Thorson went back into his apartment, balled up newspaper, lit it on fire and then walked out and watched the house. Barron County Deputy Storberg administered a preliminary breath test on Thorson, which resulted in a .316, almost four times the legal limit. This happened Thursday around 4 p.m. in Rice Lake. Deputy Storberg noted that none of the cats were injured. Thorson is out on a $5,000 signature bond. His next court date is July 22.
WEAU-TV 13 News

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