Whisps of light grey smoke from smoldering debris still rose in the air near the intersection of Spruce Lane and Bloom Road in the town of Lincoln Monday morning in the wake of a 4:46 a.m. Saturday residential structure fire.

The Nettrour Family was displaced in the total loss blaze that destroyed their single-family ranch-style home at 789 Bloom Rd. 

Eagle River Area Fire Department Fire Chief Michael Anderson told the News-Review a number animals perished in the fire including “several chickens, rabbits and a dog.”

Anderson said dollar loss estimates were unavailable as of press time and that the cause of the fire was still being determined, although a wood-burning stove is suspected in the incident.

“We got a call for a fully-engulfed structure fire,” Anderson said. “We requested mutual aid from Conover for a tender, and from Three Lakes for an engine crew and a tender.”

A total of 30 firefighters responded in 20 below zero temperatures according to Anderson — 20 from Eagle River, eight from Three Lakes and two from Conover.

“We knocked it down with the initial attack, but because of the state of the structure we couldn’t go in and knock down the root of the fire,” Angerona said, noting 15,000 gallons of water and 35 gallons of firefighting foam were used to suppress the blaze. “Ultimately, it burnt down into the basement.”

According to Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath, there were two Vilas County Sheriff’s Office squads and utility provider Wisconsin Public Service also responding to the scene.

Anderson noted that Saturday’s fire was the fourth “extreme weather” structure fire fought by the department in the past two weeks in the Arctic sub-zero weather spawned by a prolonged polar vortex. 

He said wood stoves “are suspected” as a “directly related” cause in three of the four recent fires, including Saturday’s blaze, noting a wood stove was “the family’s only source of heat,” adding that the fire “started around that area.”

“I’d like to reiterate wood stove safety,” Anderson said.?“It’s been a bad year with all this cold weather.”

Wood and pellet stove fire safety tips are available online from the Quincy, Mass.-based National Fire Protection Association at nfpa.org.

NFPA is an international nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. 

Fundraising underway

Several fundraising efforts are underway in support of the Nettrour family.

An online fundraising account has been established by Regina Gaffny at gofundme.com to assist the family.?Search “Nettrour House Fire.” As of early Monday afternoon, 23 donors had already contributed $1,525 toward the $30,000 fundraising goal.

Locally, St. Mary of the Snows Anglican Church, in Eagle River has established a fundraising “Nettrour Family Fund” account  at mBank, 400 E. Wall St. in Eagle River.

“They’re in bad shape,” said the Very Rev. Jim Fosdick of the displaced, uninsured family. “Checks can be made out to ‘Nettrour Family Fund’ and mailed or delivered in person to the bank. One hundred percent of donations will go to the Nettrour Family.”

For those wishing to make a tax-deductible donation, Fosdick said donors should mail checks to St. Mary of the Snows Anglican Church, P.O. Box 158, Eagle River, WI 54521.