TREVOR — Two families, each with two children, are displaced, their homes a total loss after a fire broke out near a fence between the homes Sunday.
Salem Lakes Fire and Rescue was dispatched at 8 p.m. Sunday to the scene in the 23900 block of 126th Place in the Trevor area of the Village of Salem Lakes.
Fire Chief Mike Slover said wind played a significant role in the quick spread of the fire to the homes, already “well involved” by the time the first responders arrived.
Slover said much of the available water resources were used to keep the fire from jumping to more residences in close proximity to the burning homes, located in a neighborhood without municipal water service. The siding of a garage of a third home did melt, but the fire was contained to the two homes.
Slover said even if all the water had been directed to the burning homes it would not have made a difference as those homes were quickly beyond salvage.
The family in the house to the west was reportedly home at the time the fire broke out. The two adults and two children, ages 11 and 13, who lived there are reportedly staying in a hotel.
The family in the house burned to the east was away for the weekend.
“Today is the first day of our vacation,” Kaylene Karczewski, said, adding they had gone to visit her father in Necedah.
She and her boyfriend, Brandon Lawson, and his two children ages 12 and 16, lived in the house. Karczewski said she learned about the fire at 4 a.m. when she woke up to let their dog Waffles outside and saw “a ton of text messages.”
They arrived home early Monday morning. While yet to be permitted into the home, they could see some areas through the burned remains.
“It’s weird what the fire took and didn’t take,” Brandon said. “I can see some stuff that might be salvageable.”
The couple was hopeful that items in the basement could be saved.
No one, including firefighters, was injured, but cats in both homes may have perished.
Both families are reportedly insured and collections were underway Monday within the community to help the families with immediate needs.
A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up for Lawson/Karczewski at https://gf.me/v/c/dc7v/lawson-household.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it not considered suspicious. Video surveillance footage from the home across the street shows the moment and location the fire ignited near the fence and is being further reviewed.
Mutual aid provided by area departments included:
- Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue and Rochester Fire Department with engines.
- Randall Fire Department and Wheatland Fire Department with water tankers.
- Union Grove Fire Department with a truck.
- Antioch Fire Department with an ambulance.
The Spring Grove Fire Department, Paris Fire and Rescue, Kansasville Fire Department and Lake Villa Fire Department provided coverage of the Salem Lakes area during the duration of the call.