WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

NEW INFORMATION: Names released in deadly fire near Lake Holcombe

By: WEAU Staff Email
By: WEAU Staff Email
More Video...

UPDATE:

LAKE HOLCOMBE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Chippewa Co. Sheriff's Department on Saturday afternoon, investigators and agents from the State Fire Marshalls office completed their work at the scene. The residence was turned back over to the family at that time.

Over the next week Sheriff Investigators plan to interview a number of people associated with the residence. Any further determination of cause or origin of the fire may be several weeks or longer as reports, pictures and other items are analyzed.

-----------------

LAKE HOLCOMBE, Wis. (WEAU) -- As the investigation continues, deputies are trying to learn more about the origin and cause of the fire. The family of the victims has been helping investigators learn the layout of the trailer home.

“They got two outlines of the house, and pretty much where grandpa's stuff should be; here my parents stuff should be. But at this time and as everybody can see there is nothing left,” said granddaughter of the deceased owner of the home, Danielle Liesenfelder.

Liesenfelder says when she got the call about the fire, the first thing on her mind was to get her grandpa out.

She says Minder Senior has been missing both of his arms since ‘82 and would have had a hard time getting out.

“Unfortunately by the time I got here the fire department was here, if I would have done that I probably wouldn't be here. I wanted to get grandpa,” said Liesenfelder.

“Grandpa, was grandpa; everybody loved him,” said Minder Senior’s other granddaughter Gloria Olson.

Survivors of the fire tell the family Josh Peacock, 24, initially got out of the burning trailer, but went back into the fire to get five-year-old Joey and grandpa Minder. The family says he made it in, but never made it back out.

“He went back to try to get our grandpa and the baby out and it took his life too. We think he was a real hero,” said Olson.

Both Olson and Liesenfelder say telling the rest of the family about the tragedy and dealing with all of the aftermath is the hardest thing they've ever had to do.

“We're trying to be strong for each other, you know it's hard,” shared Olson.

“I Hope nobody has to go through it,” added Liesenfelder.

Among all of the heartache, there is a sign of hope. On Friday night one survivor of the fire, an 8-month-old puppy, returned back to the scene and spent the night with the deputies.

The family says two more dogs have made it out, but have not been found yet.

The family says two dogs that are missing are of sheltie breed. They are asking anyone who has seen them or has any information to call 715-415-7655.

Three of the five people hurt in the fire remain hospitalized tonight.
Deputies are staying on scene throughout the day, and are hoping to find the cause of the fire by the end of Saturday.

--------------------------------------------------------
(PRESS RELEASE)-- Today, Saturday 04/27/2013 Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office Investigators and agents from the State Fire Marshalls Office resume their investigation of the fatal residential fire in the Town of Lake Holcombe.

The fire at 29724 CTH M was reported Friday at 8:45A and resulted in the death of three people and the injury of five others .

The deceased are identified as Robert J. Minder SR. 82, owner of the residence, Joseph M.R. Sigsworth, 5 and Josh L. Peacock, 22 of Glen Flora WI.

The injured are identified as Robert M. Minder JR., Robert J. Minder III 24, Tabatha Marie Jaworski, 30, Darlene M. Minder, 51 and Dillon J. Minder 2 YOA.

Robert Minder JR was treated and released at St Joseph’s Chippewa Falls.

Robert Minder III was treated and released at St Joseph’s Chippewa Falls.

Darlene Minder is in Regions Hospital condition unknown

Tabatha Marie Jaworski, Joseph Sigworth's mother, is in Regions Hospital condition unknown

Dillion Minder is in Regions Hospital condition unknown.

There will be more updates as the investigation progresses, the residence and contents are a complete loss. Investigators are using an excavator and other equipment to assist in the investigation as the remaining structure is unstable.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOLCOMBE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It is moments like this where words are hard to come by.

"Very, very bad situation for a lot of people, it's heart wrenching," said Jackie Nitek, a family friend.

Family and friends spent the afternoon watching and waiting for answers. Fire crews tore down what is left of the mobile home on County Road M, searching for those who did not make it out.

It was not until 5:00 p.m. when family got word that everyone had been found inside.

"I never expected it to just happen like this," said Danielle Liesenfelder, a relative of the victims.

She says her family lived in the mobile home for 20 years. And even though on Friday fire crews had not determined what started the fire, Liesenfelder feared one thing in particular.

"They had a wood stove, you always have that fear if you have a wood stove," she said.

Firefighters battled the flames for hours before the fire was under control. The family says there were also several dogs in the house, and so far, only one has been accounted for.

Deputies meanwhile, say they are working to identify who the victims are. The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department tells us it will be back on the scene again tomorrow. It says it plans to release the names tomorrow as well.

"Very, very sad; my condolences go out to the family, I'll keep them in my prayers," Nitek added.

A memorial fund has been set up for the family through Ladysmith Federal Savings and Loan. Since we are not releasing the family's last name, you should contact the bank if you are interested in helping.

Ladysmith Federal Savings and Loan
119 W. 4th St. N
Ladysmith, WI 54848

715-532-3389

--------------------------------------------------------------

HOLCOMBE, Wis (WEAU) -- Late Friday afternoon we learned investigators have recovered all three-of those victims' bodies. Five other people were hurt.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department says the 82-year old owner of the home is among those who died, so is a 22-year old man and a five year old boy.

The survivors include four adults and a toddler. Two of the victims that have been injured were released late Friday afternoon.

Danielle Liesenfelder is related to the victims. She says she got a call from her mother, who lives in the home, around 9 am Friday morning. She told her the house was on fire.

“I never expected it to just happen like this,” said Liesenfelder.

Liesenfelder says her family lived in the mobile home for nearly 20 years. Even though she says the fire was a shock, the family had a wood stove, and fear of fire was always in the back of her mind.

“They had a wood stove; you always have that fear if you have a wood stove,” said Liesenfelder.

Firefighters battled the flames for hours. The sheriff says the floors of the home are very unstable, which is why the investigation is still ongoing.

“At the current time we've started an initial investigation, as to identifying who was at the trailer, looking into possible causes,” said Chippewa County Sheriff James Kowalczyk.

The family says there were several dogs in the house, only one has been accounted for.

“Very, very sad; my condolences go out to the family, I'll keep them in my prayers. Very bad situation for a lot of people, its heart wrenching,” said close family friend Jackie Nitek.

Late this afternoon the Sheriff's Department told us the investigation is expected to continue into Saturday. Deputies say they are working to identify the victims.

------------------------------------
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) – Deputies at the scene of a deadly fire near Holcombe expect to keep investigating into Saturday.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office remained at the scene late Friday afternoon. The sheriff’s department said in a news release that it would not release any further information on the fire Friday.

Investigators say they are working to confirm the identity of the victims and their condition. None of their names have been released. They say they will release new information when they “have verified all information and have a progress status of the investigation.”

----------------------------
HOLCOMBE, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities say two people have died, a third is missing and five others are injured in a mobile home fire in Chippewa County.

Sheriff's deputies said Friday the bodies of two people have been recovered from the fire north of Holcombe and a third person is unaccounted for. The victims are an 82-year-old man who owned the home and a 22-year-old Sheldon man. A 5-year-old boy is missing, but crews have not been able to enter the home north of Holcombe to search for his body.

The five survivors include four adults and a 2-year-old child. They were taken by helicopter to various hospitals.

Undersheriff Eugene Gutsch says the fire appears to have started in a wood frame addition to the home.

The home is on Highway M, northeast of Holcombe. Sheriff's deputies have closed a portion of Highway M.
--------------------------------
HOLCOMBE, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities say two people have died, a third is missing and five others are injured in a mobile home fire in Chippewa County.

Sheriff's officials said Friday the bodies of two people have been recovered from the fire north of Holcombe and a third person is presumed dead. Five people who were injured in the fire were taken by air to various hospitals.

Officials say the injured include a 2-year-old child.

The mobile home is on Highway M, northeast of Holcombe. Sheriff's deputies have closed a portion of Highway M.

Cornell and Sheldon firefighters are at the scene.

----------------------
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (CHIPPEWA COUNTY NEWS RELEASE) - The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office is on the scene of a residential structure fire in the Town of Lake Holcombe. 29724 CTH M. The location is north of Holcombe and east of STH 27.
There are numerous injuries and confirmed fatalities. Cornell Fire and EMS are also on scene with medical helicopters attending to the injured and preparing for transport.
More information will follow as it becomes available.


WEAU 13 NEWS 1907 S. Hastings Way Eau Claire, WI 54701 By Phone: Main Number (715) 835-1313 and (715) 832-3474. Tip Line (715) 839-WEAU - (715) 839-9328 Sports Line (715) 852-1537
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 204859101