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"Everything is a total loss:" Devastating fire destroys two Kewaskum homes, damages others

KEWASKUM, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Kewaskum family has lost everything in a fire. Officials say strong winds fanned the flames and those winds pushed the fire to other homes in the neighborhood.

Homeowner Amy Herriges says she was still miles away when the fire started but could see smoke rising from her neighborhood. Everything she owns is now a pile of ash.

"At this point, I don't think it's registered yet," said Amy Herriges.

A fire tore through her Kewaskum home and left nothing behind. What was a home two stories tall is now rubble two feet high."The craziest part for me was when I always drive up on H and I can see the top of my house and I realize at that point there was no top of my house anymore," said Herriges.

"The fire had a pretty good head start by the time we got here," said Chief Mark Groeschel with the Kewaskum Fire Department.

Along with the Herriges home, the neighbor's house was also destroyed. Wind also blew embers all over, damaging five other houses including one three blocks away. 

"We set an engine up and attacked from the west and set our aerial up and attacked it from the east and basically stopped the fire from extending to the next exposure," said Groeschel.

Herriges is thankful her husband and two young kids were not at home when the fire started. She's still trying to process how her life changed in an instant.

"All I think about is what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again," Herriges said.

Herriges thinks the fire started after she left a bag of stained rags on the back deck but the Fire Chief says they don't have a cause yet. Herriges says her family can stay with their cousin for now. She says she hasn't started to think long-term yet.

If you'd like to help the Herriges and other family's affected by the house fires, Geidel's Piggly Wiggly is accepting donations. Please see the service desk at that location for more information. 


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