By Darren Siewert- Around 3 o’clock this morning, the Merrill Fire Department responded to a house fire on Schultz Spur Dr. in the Town of Merrill. Five occupants were home at the time of the fire. Unfortunately, three of them received injuries from the fire and were transported to local hospitals. MFD Engine-62, Tender-65, and Medic-62 all responded immediately on the initial alarm. Ambulances from Wausau Fire Department, Tomahawk EMS, and MedEvac (Wausau) were requested to the scene as well as water tenders from Pine River and Corning Fire Departments. Off-duty Merrill FD personnel were called back and responded with Med-63 to the scene too.
Upon arrival, MFD personnel triaged the patients and began treatment of the most injured patient, a female patient who was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Merrill. She was then transferred by MedEvac to UW- Madison Burn Center. Remaining Merrill firefighters worked to contain the fire. When Tomahawk EMS arrived, they treated and transported the next patient to Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Merrill Med-63 started treatment of patient #3 and transferred care to Wausau Med-2 upon their arrival on scene. Wausau Fire transported their patient to Aspirus Wausau Hospital as well. The remaining two occupants of the house declined medical care and left by private auto.
Firefighters continued to battle the blaze through defensive operations. Water tenders shuttled water from the fill site to the fire scene multiple times. MFD personnel continue to be on scene extinguishing hot spots. At this time, it is unknown what started the fire, but investigators will be looking closer at the possibility of smoking material as a cause. The Wisconsin State Fire Marshal’s office was contacted about the fire, but is not actively involved in the investigation at this time. It is unknown if the house had operating smoke detectors at the time of the fire. The condition of the 3 occupants who were transported by EMS is not known at this time. The family’s pets are currently unaccounted for.
Wisconsin Public Service, Lincoln County Sheriff, and Merrill Street Department also provided assistance on this incident. More information will be released once it becomes available.