On Wednesday at 5:22 p.m., the Lincoln County 911 Communication Center dispatched the Merrill Fire Department for the report of a house fire at 1903 E. 6th St., Merrill. The structure fire was called in by a retired Merrill firefighter who was driving past the house. The initial response to the scene included Engine 62 and Medic 62.
Upon arrival, the Shift Commander assumed command and reported light gray smoke coming from the east and west gable ends along with the east side second floor window. The temperature was minus 11 degrees with a wind chill of minus 20 degrees at the time of the fire. Command requested a General Alarm with mutual aid responses from Tomahawk EMS for an ambulance to stand by and a fire engine from Pine River Fire.
Command ordered the first arriving engine company to force entry in the structure and to deploy an aggressive interior attack with a pre-connect hose line. When the companies made entry into the house they were presented with fire conditions in the kitchen, which was knocked down by the fire company. The fire company made their way to the second floor and found fire extending into the walls and attic area. Primary and secondary searches were conducted of the house and no occupants were found.
Both of the residents of the home were out to dinner at the time of the fire. The female resident of the house reported earlier in the evening one of the electrical circuit breakers to the kitchen had tripped for an unknown reason. They reset the breaker at the breaker panel and left the building.
Companies extinguished the fire and checked for any hot spots. Traffic control was provided by the Merrill Police Department and the Street Department provided sand and salt for the ice on the road.
Information was gathered and the MFD conducted a cause and origin investigation. The cause of the fire appears to be electrical in nature.
Damage to the home and contents is approximately $30,000. There are no reported injuries to the citizen or firefighter.