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State Fire Marshal Concludes "Silver Dollar" Investigation


Wisconsin Department of Justice State Fire Marshal's Office Determines Blanchardville Fire Origin to be Undetermined


BLANCHARDVILLE - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and State Fire Marshal Tina Virgil released conclusions about the origin and cause of the fire that took the life of four individuals and destroyed the Silver Dollar Bar early Monday morning in Blanchardville, Wisconsin.


"I am saddened at the loss of life, particularly so close to Christmas," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "This is a profound tragedy and my heart goes out to the families and friends of those who perished. Blanchardville has been dealt a hard blow. I do however, wish to commend the  efforts of Blanchardville's Fire Department and their neighboring fire services and medical response units. I commend Sheriff Scott Pedley and his staff for their efforts over the last few days."


The State Fire Marshal reports that the official cause of the fire is classified as undetermined at this time. The State Fire Marshal's Office has concluded the area of origin was determined to be located in a void space separating the second and third floors of the structure in the building's center.

Investigators did not observe any indications of foul play. There was no evidence discovered that this was a set fire. Investigators found no evidence of any other suspicious circumstances.


The scene was released by law enforcement to the insurance company as of 1:30 p.m. today. The structure is a total loss. A professional structural engineer brought in to evaluate the structure has determined, for safety reasons, that the building should come down.


The cause of death for all four was smoke inhalation/carbon monoxide poisoning according to the coroner.


The State Fire Marshal's investigation is complete as to origin and cause. Copies of the investigative report will be made available pursuant to the Department's public records policy. While complete, no written report is available at this time.