Explosion in basement destroys Sheldon family home, business

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A family of four in the Village of Sheldon is safe after an explosion in the basement of its bar and home left it destroyed.

In the village of Sheldon, some locals wear many hats.

"I have a lot of em’!” jokes Jim Shaw. “Village president, captain of the fire department, what else do I do?”

Early Tuesday morning, Jim Shaw put on an important one, as he and 70 other firefighters battled flames engulfing Sheldon’s Reich’s Roadhouse, which is not only a beloved village watering hole, but also the Reich’s family home.

“Nick and Joey, very good people, close friends of ours, everybody around here,” says Shaw. “The building was just blowing smoke out the front. We stayed until the last ember was out.”

The fire was caused by an explosion in the building's basement.

“Big loss, it really is,” says Shaw.

Nick quickly managed to help his wife and 3 and 8-year-old kids escape.

“Everything they own is replaceable, they're not,” adds Shaw.

Now the village of just over 200 people will work to help the family with the place that brought this village together.

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