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Statement by the WI DOJ and the Clark County Sheriff's Office Regarding the April 19 Fatal Fire in Curtiss, Clark County


CURTISS - The Wisconsin Department of Justice State Fire Marshal's Office has responded to a commercial barn structure fire at W2026 State Highway 29, in the Township of Mayville, Clark County, Wisconsin.


The fire was initially reported on Monday, April 19 at approximately 3:43 P.M. The Abbotsford Volunteer Fire Department was the primary responding fire department for this incident.  Abbotsford EMS was also dispatched to the fire scene.  Mutual Aid was requested and received from the following agencies:


  • Colby Volunteer Fire Department
  • Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department
  • Owen-Withee-Curtiss Volunteer Fire Department
  • Salvation Army


Fire crews reported that the approximately 38' by 254' barn structure was fully engulfed with fire and smoke upon arrival at the scene.  The structure was totally destroyed as a result of this fire incident.


During the fire suppression effort, fire crews discovered the body of one victim, at which point the Clark County Coroner Richard Schleifer was dispatched to respond to the fire scene.


The identification of the victim is pending at this point, with an autopsy scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, April 20, 2010, at the Ramsey County, Minnesota, Medical Examiner's Office.


The Clark County Sheriff's Department contacted the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), State Fire Marshal's Office to request assistance with the fire scene examination and the determination of the origin and cause of the fire incident.


This remains an ongoing investigation. The cause of the fire is still under investigation and the investigation will continue at the scene on Wednesday, April 21, 2010.


This is a joint release being issued by the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Clark County Sheriff's Office. Questions should be directed to Chief Deputy Jim Backus of the Clark County Sheriff's Office at (715) 743-3157.