Two people, one paramedic injured during morning house fire in Sparta

An adult and child were rescued after they became trapped in an early morning house fire in Sparta. A paramedic who was assisting at the scene collapsed and is in critical condition, according to the Sparta Area Fire District.

Area first responders were called to the fire at 302 Walrath St. at 5:40 a.m. for a report of three people trapped inside a burning house.

The Sparta Area Fire District Chief said one person was on the second floor in a bedroom. A 911 dispatcher told the person to get low and go to the window on the front of the house. First responders were able to use a ladder from a nearby house to rescue her.

Sparta police officers and deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office were able to rescue a second person through an overhead garage door that was forced open.

The two females were brought to the hospital in Sparta for burns and smoke inhalation but later taken to a hospital in La Crosse for treatment.

First responders were able to find the reported third person, who had left the home before the fire. The man had left to go hunting.

A paramedic at the scene collapsed while assisting the fire department. They received life-saving measures before being airlifted to Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.

The fire department said the fire could have been less intense if the home had fire alarms.

“It’s the same story we hear over and over and over, you know… no, they took the batteries out of them, they weren’t functioning,” said Michael Arnold, chief of the Sparta Area Fire District. “I just can’t emphasize enough how important smoke detectors are, especially at this time of the day when you’re sleeping. I mean, that’s a chance of getting out alive or not getting out alive.”

It took nearly an hour to control the fire. Some items may be saved but the house is considered a total loss. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.

The Sparta Area Ambulance Service, State Fire Marshall’s Office, DCI, Xcel Energy, Sparta DPW and Sparta Water Dept. also responded to the incident.

Two dogs died in the fire.

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