UPDATE: No Full Investigation Into Rhinelander House Fire
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.
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
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