At 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, Lincoln County 911 dispatched the Merrill Fire Department for a reported structure fire at 2108 Sturdevant St.
Upon arrival, light smoke was coming from the west side of the building. Merrill firefighters entered the structure and quickly extinguished the fire inside. The interior crew encountered a hole in the floor, but was able to gain access to the basement stairs. Once in the basement, final extinguishment of the fire was completed. No one was home at the time, however, the family’s pet perished in the fire.
While the fire was put out quickly, the duplex suffered heavy smoke damage. This was caused by several factors including building construction, location of fire, and type of fire. Since it was a newer home, it was well sealed, making it hard for the fire to burn hot enough to be detected. A neighbor thought she may have seen smoke earlier, but didn’t call 9-1-1.
“Please don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 if you think someone’s house may be on fire,” said Mike Drury, a Captain with the fire department. “We are here for the safety of the community. We don’t want people to feel like it is an inconvenience to us if you report a possible emergency.”
A preliminary investigation indicates the area of origin, was around the flooring by the dryer vent.
There are 4 red bulbs on the Christmas wreath at Merrill Fire Station #1 since this is the fourth structure fire since Thanksgiving in the Merrill Fire Department response area. This was the first structure fire for the fire department’s new fire engine. MFD Engine 2 was just put in service this past Wednesday.
The Merrill Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff, Merrill Street Department, and Wisconsin Public Service were also on scene to assist.