LODD - Abbotsford,WI
One firefighter dead, four injured in Abby Theatre fire
UPDATE 10:03 p.m. Sources say four firefighters were treated and released from medical care Sunday. Officials are not releasing the identity of the firefighter who has died.
This is the final update for Sunday night. Read a full report on the fire in Monday's newspaper.
UPDATE 8:55 p.m. The Clark County Coroner has confirmed to Gannett Wisconsin Media that one of the firefighters has died.
UPDATE 8:02 p.m. Abbotsford Fire Chief Jody Apfelbeck said the department will issue an official statement within an hour. We will update with that information when it is available.
UPDATE 4:18 p.m. A fire that raged for hours this afternoon has destroyed the inside of the Abby Theatre in Abbotsford and four local firefighters have been transferred to Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield for medical care. The status of the firefighters is unknown and their identities have not been released.
Three of the injured firefighters were transported by ground; one by helicopter.
The building's owner checked its furnaces at 10:30 a.m. and found no problems, said Abbotsford Fire Chief Jody Apfelbeck. The fire was reported at about noon, and firefighters continued late this afternoon to put out small pockets of flame inside the building. Apfelbeck said he was confident the fire would be extinguished within the next two hours.
Fire departments in Abbotsford, Colby, Dorchester and Owen-Withee-Curtis responded to the blaze. About 35 firefighters responded, Apfelbeck said.
The Abby Theatre is at 216 North First St. in Abbotsford. According to Gannett Wisconsin archives, the historic theater opened in 1949. The building sustained "substantial damage," Apfelbeck said, including collapse of its roof.
Original item below:
Crews are fighting a fire at the Abby Theatre, 216 North First Street in Abbotsford, and injuries have been reported at the scene.
A Gannett Wisconsin reporter at the scene said a Ministry Health Care Spirit Life Support vehicle and other emergency responders were there shortly before 3 p.m. when he arrived.
As of 2:45 p.m., smoke was visible pouring out of the historic building, which appeared to have sustained damage to its marquee. The rising column of smoke was visible as far away as Colby.
Abbotsford and Owen-Withee responders were on the scene.
Mary Carpenter, 52, lives behind the theater. She called the fire "a terrible loss" and said she is more worried about the lives of those inside than the loss of the building itself.
This story will be updated as new information becomes available.
This happened in the county next door to me and know a couple of guys who were there. Sounds like bowstring truss construction but that is very preliminary and nothing official yet. One of the injured has been treated and released, and two are staying in the hospital for a while with injuries and breathing problems.
Just to give you guys an idea, where this happened is a very small community. These guys have to call 4-5 neighboring communities to get the same amount of manpower and equipment as most urban areas get for a 2nd alarm assignment. The fire was in Abbotsford and the firefighter was a member of the Colby, WI fire department.
Thanks for posting Jason. R.I.P.