Firefighters battle flames and wind overnight at Monroe County blaze that destroyed home

'It was very hard to fight,' fire chief says

CASHTON, Wis. (WKBT) — Fire destroyed a Monroe County home early Thursday morning.

The call went out to the home on Mascot Avenue, just north of Cashton, around 1:30 a.m. When Cashton fire crews arrived, they found flames shooting out of the roof.

“There was fire coming out of the attic, and quite noticeably on two sides, so we had to start attacking attic windows with water,” Cashton Fire Chief Al Erickson said. “Then within maybe 10 minutes or so the roof collapsed.”

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The wind was a major hindrance to fighting the flames, Erickson said.

“It wouldn’t have been burning that hard that fast,” he said. “We couldn’t even hardly hit the house with water. It was very hard to fight.”

They soon called for mutual aid because not only did the wind make it difficult to get the flames under control but also no water was readily accessible to put out the fire.

The Wilton, Norwalk, Westby-Christina and Monroe-Jackson-Ontario fire departments responded with firefighters to help and water tender trucks to shuttle water from the Cashton Fire Department nearly 4 miles away.

“We had two of ours,” Erickson said. “A lot of the ones that we had called out on mutual aid brought one tanker to get water out here and then keep water shuttling to keep plenty of supply.”

The couple who lived in the home got out safely. The Cashton Fire Department contacted Red Cross to help them.

Erickson believes the wind also likely played a factor in starting the fire.

“I do believe that the wiring slapping and arcing on the outside of the building — that’s what started it,” Erickson said.