Nun Killed In Wis. Church Fire

A fire broke out in the rectory of a church early Thursday, killing a nun, Manitowoc County Sheriff Ken Petersen said.


KELLNERSVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- A fire broke out in the rectory of a church early Thursday, killing one nun and seriously injuring another one, Manitowoc County Sheriff Ken Petersen said.

Sister Marlene Greatens, 68, was pronounced dead at the living quarters of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Kellnersville around 2:30 a.m., Deputy County Coroner Mark Busse said.

Sister Jolene Van Dyke, 68, was hospitalized in critical condition at the Appleton Medical Center, nurse Donna Stary said.

Investigators have not yet determined what started the fire, but it appeared to be accidental, said Robert Hermann, a sheriff's department investigator.

The fire started in the living room area, which was destroyed, according to the sheriff's department and the state fire marshal. The rest of the residence received heavy smoke damage.

Both women were in upstairs bedrooms when the fire started around 12:30 a.m.

Greatens called 911 from an office next to her bedroom, said Rich Ebert, chief of the Kellnersville Volunteer Fire Department. She then tried to rouse Van Dyke before running down the stairwell.

Rescuers found her about 6 feet from the front door on the main floor, Ebert said.

In 1993, Greatens went to the church, built in the late 1800s, and served as the parish director, running its daily operations, said Tony Kuick, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay. Her funeral is set for Monday.