On the evening of Tuesday January 12th at approximately 7:07 PM, the Merrill Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a structure fire at 1906 Third Street, in the City of Merrill.
Initial response from Merrill Fire Department included Engine 62, Medic 62, Squad 64 and Truck 63. MFD requested mutual aid from Pine River Fire Department and WPS . Tomahawk EMS was requested to stage in Irma. While enroute, Engine 62 reported heavy flames and smoke from four blocks away. Upon arrival, command was assumed by Engine 62 and reported heavy smoke on fire showing from the Third Street side of the house. Because of the volume of fire and extreme temperatures, the Incident Commander requested a MABAS Box Alarm, with mutual aid fire companies coming from Corning Fire Department, Russell Fire Department, Wausau Fire Department, Pine River Fire Department, Tomahawk EMS, Maine Fire Department and the Salvation Army. The Merrill Police Department and the Merrill Street Department provided traffic and scene control, and sand for the ice conditions on the road.
Initial fire operations included a defensive quick water attack, extinguishing the fire from the exterior of the building. A total of two 2 ½” hose lines, one 1 ¾” hose line and the master stream from the ladder truck were deployed.
Interviews were conducted with the homeowner and he stated that he turned on the lights to the Christmas tree and after about five minutes, the tree burst into flames in the living room. The homeowner and his wife self-evacuated from the house. Further investigation revealed, the homeowner had not watered the Christmas tree for a number of weeks. The home had two working smoke detectors.
No injuries to citizens, law enforcement or fire service personnel were reported. The damage is estimated at $125,000.00 to building and contents.