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86-year-old man dies, daughter injured in Cedarburg house fire

Posted at 12:17 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 18:52:12-04

CEDARBURG — An 86-year-old man is dead, and his daughter is being treated for smoke inhalation. They were inside their home when it caught fire Friday morning in Cedarburg.

The huge emergency response is what got the attention of Tim Thompson, who ran to see what was going on.

“I saw the victim’s son who I know from work, and he told me his dad had died,” Thompson said. “It looked like the living room, dining room and kitchen were burnt out.”

Investigators are not yet saying what caused the fire.

Thompson says family members checked in on the 86-year-old a lot. According to Thompson, the victim was a retired farmer who was dealing with some health issues. He can’t believe this happened.

“You don’t see this around here,” he said. “It hurts. That man was my buddy. For years I always used to clear the snow from his driveway. He was a great guy.”

The victim’s daughter, 62, lived with him in the home.

“When the fire crews got there, they did a secondary search and found her,” said Kim Esselman, deputy chief of the Cedarburg Fire Department. “She had smoke inhalation and was transported to Columbia St. Mary’s in Milwaukee.”

She is expected to survive. Columbia St. Mary’s is home to the only designated Burn Center in our area.

Two Cedarburg Police officers, who arrived at the home first and pulled the 86-year-old out, were treated for smoke inhalation on scene.

No firefighters were injured. They had to take extra precautions while battling the fire in the near 90-degree heat and humidity.

“We made sure there was lots of water,” Esselman said. “We have special fire wipes that we use to cool ourselves down. We put fans on and made all the firefighters take off their gear immediately to cool down.”