UPDATE: Home destroyed in fire

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BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU)-- A man is without a home tonight, after his house went up in flames in Jackson County Wednesday morning.

The Black River Falls Fire Department says crews were called around 7am to the home near Black River Falls.

Crews say they battled the flames for nearly four hours with three departments assisting on scene.

The devastating fire destroyed the home, but the survivor of the fire says the most important thing is that he got out safely.

“It’s pretty much all gone,” said Ladon Schultz.

Home owner Schultz lost most of his possessions today, but is grateful he's still alive.

“Thank god I woke up, when I did; otherwise I would be in the middle of it all,” said Schultz.

He says he smelled the smoke around 7am Wednesday morning.

“I came home around 2 in the morning, started a fire, washed my dishes, watched a little TV, and about 4am went to bed,” explained Schultz.

When he woke up, the 80 year-old farm house he's lived in for the past six years was on fire.

“I could never imagine it, and when it does hit you, it's quite devastating, I tell you,” said Schultz.

The Black River Falls Fire Department says the fire started around the wood stove's chimney.

“And that's when I got up and saw flames going up to the ceiling, from the chimney,” remembered Schultz.

Schultz lives with his son, a truck driver, who was lucky not to be home at the time.

Fire Chief Steve Schreiber says when he got there heavy smoke was going through the roof and around the house.

“It's a rural area, no fire hydrant, so we had to have tenders to supply water to extinguish the fire; and we had some distance to travel for water supply, from a lake down at Millston,” explained Schreiber.

Schultz says his grand kids loved playing in the house.
He says that memory is one of the things he'll miss the most.

Schultz's cat was inside the house for a while after the fire started but was rescued by the Fire Chief.

A fire destroyed a home near Black River Falls Wednesday morning.

The Black River Falls Fire Chief says it happened on Oak Ridge Road in the Town of Manchester. Crews were called to the fire around 7 a.m. and were on the scene until about 11 a.m.

The fire chief says four area fire departments responded and 20-25 firefighters helped battle the blaze.

The chief says the home is a total loss. There's no word yet on what caused the fire.

The Red Cross says two disaster responders met with the family at the scene and is providing assistance for food, clothing, and lodging.

The Red Cross also provided canteen services to the first responders on scene fighting the blaze.

We'll have more information on the fire in our evening newscasts and on weau.com.