Street department workers help get family out of burning house

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The house at 710 N. Wacouta Ave., Prairie du Chien sustained heavy damage.

By Ted Pennekamp


Two members of the Prairie du Chien Street Department may have saved the lives of four people sleeping in a house that caught fire Monday morning. 

Street Department employees Dirk Steiner and Rich Stovey were working near the residence at 710 N. Wacouta Ave. when they noticed the fire and called the Prairie du Chien Fire Department. Neighbors called the fire department at about the same time, approximately 8:45 a.m. Steiner and Stovey pounded on the front door of the residence and woke up the mother. Three children were also sleeping in the house, including the son, a cousin and a friend.

Fire Chief Harry Remz said that nobody was hurt as a result of the fire, but two of the four cats at the residence died.

The fire was in the back of the house. The cause has not yet been determined and the fire remains under investigation. Remz said the three-season room at the back of the house is a total loss and there was extensive smoke damage throughout the house. The siding on the house also was damaged heavily. Remz noted that the house had vinyl siding which is made of petroleum products which burn very extensively.

The house to the north of the residence where the fire occurred sustained minor damage. Remz said the house to the south had damage to its siding as well as smoke damage.

Remz said he is waiting to hear from the insurance companies and the financial estimate of the loss is not yet known.

The fire department was called back to the scene by a neighbor at about 12:30 p.m. to put out some smoldering.

Assisting the Prairie du Chien Fire Department were Tri-State Ambulance, Crawford County Emergency Management, and the Prairie du Chien Police, Water and Street departments. The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter, and Crawford County Human Services assisted the family in finding a place to stay and in getting vouchers for clothing, toiletries, medication and many other items that were damaged because of the fire.

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