Woman killed in five-alarm fire in downtown Oconomowoc

Posted on: 4:26 pm, July 1, 2012, by , updated on: 09:03pm, July 1, 2012

OCONOMOWOC — A woman was killed after a five-alarm fire broke out in downtown Oconomowoc Sunday afternoon, July 1st. Crews were on the scene near North Main Street and East Wisconsin Avenue in Oconomowoc.

FOX6 News is told the fire occurred in a building housing businesses and apartments. Firefighters got the call around 1:00 Sunday afternoon. The deceased woman was a resident of one of the apartments in the building. Her identity has not yet been released.

Hospital officials told FOX6 News eight firefighters were treated for injuries related to battling the blaze at Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital. One of those firefighters was placed in a hyperbaric chamber at Columbia St. Mary’s after reportedly breathing in too much smoke. He is expected to eventually be okay.

The seven other injured firefighters were treated for minor injuries, including burns, smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.

“We have 100 firefighters from jurisdictions as far away as Eagle and Watertown helping with this fire, and so we have a lot of people that are working with the extreme heat index, and so with the heavy clothing, obviously there’s going to be a lot of exhaustion,” Oconomowoc Chief of Police David Beguhn said.

Thick, heavy smoke filled downtown Oconomowoc as a result of the fire.

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150 firefighters were on the scene trying to bring the blaze under control. Officials say a second structure next to the main building on fire was at risk — saying the structure is old, and if the fire would spread, the building would be at risk of collapsing.

That building contains Julie Kummrow’s music conservatory — Lake Country Conservatory of Music. Kummrow was on the scene Sunday, and told FOX6 News she has 13 studios in the building, calling the fire “terrible.”

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Fighting this fire was further complicated by a grass fire that broke out in Oconomowoc near I-94 and Highway 67 (near Harley-Davison) that demanded resources. Oconomowoc Fire Department officials say that fire was started by a combine in a field near the Harley-Davidson field.

Oconomowoc Fire officials told FOX6 News their crews also battled a grass fire near the Target Distribution Center on Valley Road. Officials say that fire was put out and didn’t spread to any buildings.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.

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