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Fire destroys Antigo building; second time crews responded there this weekSubmitted: 03/20/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


ANTIGO - Early Tuesday morning fire fighters put out a fire on 5th Avenue in Antigo.

But Wednesday they weren't so lucky.

The fire started in the back of the building where Peep's Pawnshop is.

It quickly moved to the front of the top story.

The city of Antigo fire department responded first, but Langlade County Fire Control, City of Merrill and Town of Antigo fire departments had to be called to help.

Langlade County Emergency Management director Brad Henricks isn't sure if yesterday's fire is related.

"There was a fire reported there in the upper portion of the structure in which there were four tenants living," said Henricks.

"Those tenants were removed safely and the fire was extinguished at that point."

Besides trying to save the building and the valuable stuff inside, one of other main concerns for the fire department was the buildings surrounding it.

"The two businesses on the same side of the street have been evacuated and possibly going to receive some structure damage and water damage in the cause of the fight." Henricks said.

Crews knocked down the walls of the building after putting out the fire.

They weren't sure if the building would be able to stand on its own.

The building has been in downtown Antigo for over 60 years.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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ANTIGO - When the Kretz family started the Kretz Lumber Company here in Antigo in 1929, they built part of the original saw mill with hemlock that grew near the property.  Now, a piece of hemlock far older than that serves as a bit of the company's rich history.  

On the south side of the property outside the so-called "Cabin" stands an eight-foot-tall hemlock log.  A ginseng farmer in Bryant dug it up while plowing a field and thought it looked old.

UW-Madison carbon dated the log and discovered it's 1,200 to 1,600 years old.  That's from about the time the Vikings started raiding Europe.

"A lot of people go back in their mind and they try to think back through history and what it would've been like," Kretz Lumber President Troy Brown said.  "So that's kind of the fun part and it brings up conversations like that."

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Kedrowicz was a kid when her parents started the company in the 60s.

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22-year-old Stephanie Schmidt used to race snowmobiles competitively.

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"The younger generation doesn't know what it is and it's really good," said Schmidt. "It's a shame that people don't know what it is and it's really fun to make."

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Stephanie is hoping to make nearly $700 from sales Saturday.

The Kentuck Day Festival will take place Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

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