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UPDATE: No Full Investigation Into Rhinelander House FireSubmitted: 04/15/2013
Story By WJFW News Team


RHINELANDER - We will probably never know how a fire that destroyed a Rhinelander home started.

Firefighters aren't investigating Saturday night's Iverson Street fire

The homeowners told firefighers the fire started in a room used for building models.

Fire Chief Terry Williams says that's consistent with what firefighters saw at the scene, so he doesn't see any reason to do a full investigation.


"The other reason we're not doing a full-fledged investigation right now is because the inside of the structure is unsafe," Williams said. "The first floor actually collapsed somewhat, and to put personnel in there outside of an emergency situation is far too risky."

The upstairs floor of the home is also starting to collapse.

The homeowners heard a loud sound from their basement around 9:30 Saturday night.

They went downstairs to check the noise and found flames in a back bedroom on the first floor.

Both the homeowners and their dog got out safely, but the fire spread quickly,

"There was nice dry wood for the home," Williams said. "There were air currents moving through the home with some of the windows that were broke out prior to our arrival, and some of the doors left open throughout the house helped spread the fire throughout the structure."

The home is probably a total loss. The homeowners are staying with family.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

BLAINE, MINNESOTA - Firefighters from Upper Michigan put themselves at risk to battle fires in Utah.

On the way home, two were killed when the bus they were riding in crashed over the weekend in Minnesota.

Now the firefighter who was driving the bus is facing charges.

According to a criminal complaint, 28-year-old Michael Johnson told authorities he'd slept just 45 minutes the previous 28 hours as he drove a bus with 8 other wildland firefighters returning from a fire in Utah to their home base near Baraga in Michigan's Upper Penninsula.

Officers say Johnson was combative and showed signs of impairment at the crash scene, and later admitted to using marijuana the morning of the crash - and cocaine two days earlier.


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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander City Administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner walked into what she thought would be a routine performance review Monday night.

She left without a job.

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MADISON - The state Elections Commission has approved mailing postcards to more than a million unregistered voters urging them to get on the rolls.

Legislators passed a law earlier this year requiring Wisconsin to join a multi-state consortium called the Electronic Registration Information Center, which works to identify eligible voters who haven't registered. ERIC requires member states to reach out before Oct. 1 every two years to eligible voters who may not be registered.

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RHINELANDER - It is the final countdown to the start of the school year. 

In just two days, school buses will be filled with kids, ready and eager to learn.

Before the buses get flooded with kids, United Way wants to stuff the bus with donated school items, so every kid can start the school year with a full backpack.

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WOODRUFF - The amount of blood donations usually drops during the summer, but this summer has been particularly challenging in northern Wisconsin.

"Over the course of the summer, our blood supply has declined considerably. It has dropped 35 percent over the course of the summer, and it is approaching dangerously low levels," said Community Blood Center Donor Services Vice President Kristine Belanger.

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UPPER MICHIGAN - Firefighters in Upper Michigan believe an electrical issue started a logging truck fire Monday in Iron County.

The fire was reported around 2 p.m. on Co Rd 643. The truck was parked on the north side of the Paint River Bridge.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/30/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on the Rhinelander City Council's decision to remove Kristina Aschenbrenner from the City Administrator position.

We'll tell you about a group of people from Minocqua who took a bike ride across Wisconsin and dedicated it to a friend with serious health problems.

And people driving down Highway 8 in Rhinelander may have to watch out for construction for a while. We'll tell you what crews are doing on two intersections of the bypass.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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