Jan. 15--GLENWOOD CITY -- When Diane Klatt was awakened by the wail of firetruck sirens shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday, her first thought was the safety of her mother.
Klatt looked across the street to see flames shooting through the two roofs of a new $9.3 million addition to Glenhaven Nursing Home. Her mother is a Glenhaven resident.
"I could see both roofs were on fire," she said later that morning as she shoveled snow while firefighters from throughout western Wisconsin attempted to extinguish the blaze.
The 32 Glenhaven residents were not evacuated, but precautionary steps were taken in case an evacuation was needed. Residents were moved to an area away from the fire, and no injuries were reported.
"The biggest thing is the residents are fine," Glenhaven administrator David Prissel said.
The 50,000-square-foot addition just west of the current home -- started in May and scheduled to open in June -- was severely damaged, Prissel said. The addition, an assisted living site, was to include neighborhood spaces and private rooms.
The project was being built by Royal Construction of Eau Claire and was insured, Prissel said. Nursing home officials plan to rebuild the burned structure.
"It's a huge setback because it was being built for the community," Prissel said.
Firefighters were called to the Glenhaven addition at 612 E. Oak St. shortly after 5 a.m. Firefighting efforts were hindered by the fact the Glenwood City water system lacked capacity to keep up with demand, prompting calls for assistance to other fire departments, said Quentin Popp, the mutual aid director for Glenwood City and Dunn and Pepin counties.
Water was hauled by trucks from another hydrant in Glenwood City and from Boyceville, Popp said. About 30 departments from throughout western Wisconsin responded to the fire, although getting to the fire was slowed somewhat by a snowfall that dropped about 8 inches across this part of the state.
Ladder trucks were brought in from the Menomonie and River Falls fire departments. The fire was contained shortly after 10 a.m. No cause was available Tuesday.
Glenwood City Mayor John Larson, who lives near Havenwood, said his wife woke him up just before 5 a.m. to alert him about the fire.
"There were already flames coming through the roof," he said. "The building was pretty much engulfed. I just was like, 'Oh, no.' "
Despite the damage, Larson was grateful nobody was injured.
"Nobody got hurt," he said. "That is the important thing."
While she is grateful her mother and other nursing home residents were uninjured in the fire, Klatt was sad to see the new building burned.
"I though pretty soon (Mom) will be in a nice new facility," Klatt said. "I was really excited to see it get done. It's sad."
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