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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MERRILL - Merrill residents might have heard a lot of music in town today.

Merrill High School hosted the Merrill Marching Invitational. Three high school marching bands took over the football field at Merrill High School Sunday.

Antigo, D.C. Everest, and Merrill high schools all showcased their musical creativity.

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MILWAUKEE - A published report says unauthorized improvements have been made to a footpath on state land that a donor to Gov. Scott Walker has been trying to buy.

A spokesman for business executive Elizabeth Uihlein acknowledged that workers at her adjoining property may have cleaned up the trail slightly.

But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1Z18WU8 ) reports those who have seen the trail say the improvements are significant.

Uihlein is seeking to buy 1.75 acres along Rest Lake, where the footpath is located. But a tentative deal with the Department of Natural Resources was put on hold after critics raised questions.

A DNR spokesman says the agency inspected the site on Thursday and found an "established trail." He declined to say whether the department had talked to Uihlein or her representatives.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp that portrayed the lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. had a piece of history to share.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event featured a hay maze, horse-drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

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TOWN OF NEWBOLD - Dreams of a world-class disc golf course and recreation area could soon become reality.  On September 26, people in the Town of Newbold voted to buy about 18 acres of land currently owned by Oneida County.

The land, about a half mile off Highway 47 along Ole Lake Road, was the site of an old landfill that the DNR closed in July 1988. The site has been empty ever since.

Buying the land would essentially double the space Newbold already owns for its planned recreation area.

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MERRILL - Firefighters need to be prepared to rescue people from more than just fires.

People can get trapped in tree stands, water, or a tight spot. 

Local fire departments respond to those emergencies.

Merrill's first Citizen's Fire Academy learned about these specialized rescues Thursday night.

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