On Tuesday at 10:57 a.m., Lincoln County Dispatch Center notified the Merrill Fire Department of a report of a structure fire in the area of Olivotti Lake Road and Pier Street. The initial response from Merrill Fire included Engine 2, Tender 5, Car 60 and Medic 2. Temperatures at the time of the incident were -5 degrees with wind chills of -26 degrees. Command requested a call back of off duty Merrill Firefighters and Mutual Aid in the form of Tenders from Russell Fire Department and Pine River Fire Department. Tomahawk EMS was requested to Irma for ambulance service standby.
A Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy reported smoke in the area from Wilderness Shore Lane, further investigation by the deputy found the fire at W5574 Olivotti Lake Road. He reported fire on the north side of the building and access issues with the driveway.
Upon arrival, Incident Command was established by Engine 2, which reported heavy smoke and fire showing from the one story log cabin, the building was about 40’ x 30’ in size. Command deployed two firefighting crews with hand lines to the fire. The initial fire attack was in a defensive mode of operations, fighting the fire from the exterior of the structure and protecting the exposures of a detached two car garage. The water supply was established by a use of a Rural Shuttle Operation with the Russell FD, Pine River FD and Merrill FD Tenders. Once the initial fire was knocked down, the crews completed overhaul operations and spot fire extinguishment.
Interviews were conducted with the two homeowners and the last person that was in the structure at approximately 7 a.m. this morning. The house was unoccupied when the fire department arrived on the scene. The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation.