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Hammond family displaced after Sunday fire

A fire started in a multi-stall attached garage Sunday afternoon at this home in the town of Hammond. This view is looking east onto the lot from the town road of 190th Street late Monday morning. (Photo by Steve Dzubay)

A family was displaced from their home in the Town of Hammond after a fire damaged the residence Sunday afternoon.

United Fire & Rescue was dispatched to the scene at 907 190th St. in the Town of Hammond at 3:18 p.m. According to United Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Andy Jensen of the Hammond station, the fire began in the garage attached to the farmhouse. The cause is still under investigation.

Jensen said it’s unclear how many people live in the home, but the occupants reached safety and reported no injuries. It’s believed there are one or two children, along with their mother, who live there. The American Red Cross helped the family find a place to stay after the fire Sunday.

“There was some confusion as to who lives there, but I think there is one or two kids,” Jensen said.

Property tax records list Ira C. Gillis of River Falls as owner of the house. Jensen said he thinks Gillis is leasing the property to relatives, but is unsure.

Jensen said a member of the family called in the fire, which began in the garage and spread to the entryway into the house. Jensen said when crews arrived on scene the garage was fully engulfed in flames.

“The fire was so intense we couldn’t go in right away,” Jensen said. “We had to fight it from outside for awhile. We were able to keep it from spreading to the entire house, but there is fire damage to the kitchen and entryway and smoke and heat damage to the whole house.”

Jensen said crews were on scene fighting the fire for roughly four hours. Firefighter Erich Weinert is reported to have fallen on the ice and injured his knee. He was treated at Baldwin Area Medical Center and released.

United Fire, including the Baldwin and Woodville stations, was assisted by Roberts/Warren Fire, Deer Park Fire, Baldwin EMS & Fire and the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office.

The story will be updated as we receive more information.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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