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Two cats lost as fire destroys rural Douglas County home

SUMMIT TOWNSHIP — No people were injured, but two family cats were killed in a fire that destroyed a house in rural Douglas County on Friday afternoon.

Town of Summit firefighters were dispatched around noon after the homeowner called 911, said Steven Fegraeus, chief of the volunteer fire department.

The house, at 8889 State Highway 35, is in a wooded area a little south of Pattison State Park, he said.

About 15 firefighters from four volunteer departments responded, Fegraeus said. The residents escaped safely, but the three-story house couldn’t be saved.

“There was nothing left to salvage,” he said.

Red Cross was helping the three residents find housing, he said.

Exact cause of the fire hasn’t been determined, but it appeared to have started in a room with a wood stove, Fegraeus said. There was no evidence of foul play.

Efforts to fight the fire were hampered because the house was a quarter-mile off the highway on a lane that wasn’t well-suited for heavy firetrucks, Fegraeus said.

Strong winds also made it difficult to fight the fire, along with a lack of personnel. Many firefighters were attending an EMS conference in Rice Lake, Wis., he said.

Dairyland, Town of Oakland and Town of Superior firefighters responded along with those from the Town of Summit, Fegraues said. The last units left the scene about 5:30 p.m.

Gold Cross ambulance stood by and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department provided traffic control, he said.

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