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NEW INFORMATION: Heaviest damage from deadly apartment fire near bedrooms

By: WEAU 13 News Staff Email
By: WEAU 13 News Staff Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (CITY OF EAU CLAIRE NEWS RELEASE) - This is an update to the fire at 630 Water Street, which is still under investigation. At this time, it appears that the origin of the fire started on the second floor of the structure. It appears that the heaviest damage from the fire was in close proximity to the occupants’ bedrooms. The Eau Claire Fire Department and the Eau Claire Police Department are continuing to investigate this fire to determine its cause. The electrical system will be analyzed, along with other equipment in this upstairs residence. As part of our investigation, an effort will be made to locate all of the smoke detectors in this residence to verify if they were present and operational at the time of this fire.

More information regarding the fire’s cause will be released in November when fire investigators and insurance adjusters will have had an opportunity to further review and survey the fire scene.
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (EAU CLAIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) - On Tuesday, October 09, 2012, an autopsy was performed on Ross A. Livermore at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, WI. The preliminary findings indicate the following:

Cause of Death: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Manner of Death: Undetermined pending completion of the investigation

This case remains under investigation by both the Eau Claire Police Department and the Eau Claire Fire Department.

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A second student has died as a result of Monday's fire on Water Street in Eau Claire.

The victim who was taken to a Minneapolis hospital with serious burns has died.

The family of 21-year-old Jacob Clarkson told us in a statement that they have said goodbye to their beloved son and that they miss him more than words can say.

Clarkson was a senior computer science major at UW-Eau Claire.

The fire which happened early Monday morning at an apartment on Water Street also claimed the life of 21-year-old Ross Livermore, a sophomore on leave this semester from UW-Eau Claire.

Two other Blugold students were also hurt in the fire including 21-year-old Garret Isakson and 21-year-old Casey Malan. Both are out of the hospital.

This fire has shocked the UW-Eau Claire campus community.

WEAU 13 News sat down with a friend of the victims Tuesday who said she's organizing a donation drive to help replace items lost in the fire.

“Monday morning I woke up and I checked my email and it said that there had been a fire on Water Street and that a student passed away,” said Emily Gresbrink.

Finding out it was at an apartment near Sixth and Water Streets, Gresbrink said it didn't take her long to figure out it was at her friends' house.

“We just sat there in silence for a good hour. We didn't know what to say or what to do. These things happen and you’re on Facebook and people post statuses and they’re like ‘I heard about a house fire, my thoughts and prayers go out to that family and their friends’. But when you are one of their friends, it brings it down to a whole different level,” Gresbrink said.

Gresbrink was in the UWEC marching band with Ross Livermore.

His girlfriend is her roommate.

Gresbrink said Livermore is someone that you never forget.

“He was always there for you, and if you were ever having a bad day and just needed someone to talk to he'd always listen. He liked video games, he liked computers, he was a really good bass trombone player,” Gresbrink said.

The cause of the fire is still being looked at.

Investigators were back on the scene Tuesday looking through the destruction.

Since the apartment is a total loss, Gresbrink and her friends are springing into action, organizing a donation drive for the two students who lost everything.

“We felt like it was the least we could do to show our support and respect for what happened,” Gresbrink said.

They're looking to collect men’s clothes, electronics and non-perishable food items.

The friends are collecting these items with the help of the UWEC Student Senate at the Davies Center from 10 am to 2 pm Wednesday through Friday.
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Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- "When something like this happens, makes you wonder, makes me feel kinda lucky that nothing like that happens more often," said Seth Mader who lives along Water Street.

His house is near the apartment building that caught fire Monday morning, killing one student and hurting three others.

"It's definitely scary, I mean, like I said, you know the condition of a lot of these houses and it could happen anywhere," he added.

All across campus Monday, students shared similar thoughts, realizing a fire can sometimes happen too close to home.

"It kind of scares me now. I mean, our house is old, but you don't really think about having a fire in your house," said Garrett Olson, a UWEC student.

The fire was called in just before 6:00 a.m. Monday morning. The fire department says an Eau Claire Police detective called it on his way to work and tried to help.

"He was coming down the street, saw a large amount of smoke. He did make attempts to contact people and sounds like he did get a few people out," said Duane Grunst, Eau Claire Fire Department Deputy Chief.

When the fire department got to the scene, Battalion Chief Bryon Bensen says it took a couple hours before everything was under control. He says one of the initial concerns was about the fire spreading to nearby buildings. But he says the department was able to contain it. At this point, the building will likely be a total loss.

But foundations can be fixed, one freshman points out its the memories that take a lot longer to mend.

"Me and my friends have been looking to move off campus, but after reading that e-mail is made us second guess, whether not we want to or not, cause we don't know how safe it is, it kind of just scares everyone," the freshman added.

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (EAU CLAIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) - On Monday, October 8, 2012 at 5:57 a.m., an off-duty Eau Claire police detective observed flames coming from the windows in the upstairs apartment at 630 1/2 Water St.

Police officers arrived on scene but were unable to enter due to the progression of the fire.

Two male residents from the apartment were able to escape while two other male residents were still inside.

Fire personnel arrived at this location, made entry into the apartment, and located two unconscious people inside.

Personnel from both Eau Claire Fire and Eau Claire Police attempted resuscitation efforts on these two individuals and both were transported to a local hospital by ambulance.

Ross A. Livermore, date of birth 12/01/1990, was pronounced dead at the hospital. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9, to determine the cause of death.

The second individual transported from this apartment had life-threatening injuries.

Three of the residents from this apartment are University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students. The University Administration has been notified.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Eau Claire Fire Department.
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UWEC released the names of other students injured in the fire along with Ross Livermore's major:

Ross Livermore, 21 a sophomore computer science major who was on leave from the university this semester, was killed in the fire.

Jacob Clarkson, 21, a senior physics major, is at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis with serious burns.

Garret Isakson, 21, a junior management major, was treated at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and released.

Casey Malan, 21, a senior English major, was treated at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and released.

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis., (WEAU) - The Eau Claire Fire Department says one person is dead after a fire on Water Street early Monday morning.

Firefighters say it happened at the building that houses Clear Water Real Estate in Eau Claire. The business is one the lower level, with apartments on the upper level.

Firefighters say there were four people inside the building when the fire started.

In an email to students, UW-Eau Claire Interim Chancellor Gilles Bousquet said all victims were students.

Along with one student killed, another was seriously injured and two others were less seriously hurt. In fact, one has already been released from the hospital, according to the email.

Two were removed by firefighters. Two others escaped on their own.

One victim was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minnesota.

UW-EC is offering support to the families involved in the fire.

So far, no names have been released.

Right now, roads near the scene on Water Street are closed.
No word yet on who that victim was or how they died.

We have a crew on the scene and are still working to confirm more details. Stay with WEAU.com and also find us on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to know any updates we get.


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