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By Shereen Siewert

A homicide investigation is underway in Marathon County after two people were found dead inside a home that was substantially damaged by fire.

Stratford Fire was paged just after 6 a.m. to a home in the 205000 block of Rangeline Road in the town of Day, a single-family home with an attached garage.

The homeowner was not located, but two bodies were discovered inside, according to the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department. Firefighters say they found evidence of foul play, which led them to alert police.

“Based on the suspicious nature of the fire and unknown cause of death, a criminal investigation has begun,” a Marathon County Sheriff’s Department release states. “Attempts to identify the victims and efforts to protect the scene from inclement weather are underway.”

Names will be released after the victims have been positively identified and family has been notified.

The Sheriff’s Office is receiving assistance from Wisconsin DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation State Fire Marshals and the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office. 

Assisting the Stratford Fire Department with extinguishing the fire and emergency medical response was the Edgar Fire Department, McMillan Fire Department, Mosinee Fire/EMS, Marshfield EMS. The Salvation Army is on scene for victim and first responder assistance.