Fire on Jackson St.

A major structure fire occurred Friday afternoon at 518 W. Jackson St. in Tomah. The building is uninhabitable.

For the third time in 14 days, the Tomah Fire Department was called to a residential fire.

Twenty-nine firefighters spent 2½ hours Friday battling a blaze at 518 W. Jackson Street that closed the street for nearly three hours. It capped a busy two weeks for the department, which responded to a residential fire Oct. 20, a fire at an assisted living facility Oct. 24 and a natural gas leak Thursday.

“It has been very busy for (our) department,” Tomah fire chief Tim Adler said. “Thankfully there have been no injuries.”

Crews were paged shortly after 2 p.m. and arrived to see heavy smoke coming from the top of the Jackson Street residence. Adler said firefighters entered the building for an “interior attack” but were forced back outside when the heavy flames spread to the second floor.

“Due to the older style balloon construction of the home, the fire spread rapidly and got into the attic area, which contained multiple roofs, which made it very difficult to extinguish,” Adler said.

He said there were four layers of shingles on the roof, “which also made it a challenge for us.”

Two dogs inside the home were safety evacuated.

The Red Cross was called in to assist the family that lived in the home, which was deemed uninhabitable due to the fire, smoke and water damage.

The department was assisted at the scene by the Tomah Police Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, Tomah Area Ambulance Service, Oakdale Fire Department and Monroe County 911 communication center.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

The gas leak occurred shortly before 8:30 a.m., when a contractor performing an underground boring procedure struck a natural gas line at the corner of Kilbourn Avenue and Clifton Street. Firefighters were at the scene for five hours and had to temporarily close a section of Hwy. 12-16. WE Energies was called to the scene to fix the leak.


Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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