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Investigators: Man’s pot ashes spark fire destroying father’s home in Village of Summit

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Village of Summit house fire

WAUKESHA COUNTY -- We now know the cause of a major house fire from earlier this year in the Village of Summit: pot. Neighbors say a man ran over to them and admitted being high. Police say it was his marijuana ashes that sparked the intense flames.

"It was terrifying," said Lauren Decker, neighbor. "We weren't sure how far it was going to come. The house went and so did the garage.

Village of Summit house fire

One thing still remains: a blackened utility pole; it shows just how high the flames grew.

Neighbor Lauren Decker, remembers the day all too well. It was back on February 22, Decker woke up at 4 a.m. without any power.

Village of Summit police say, 29-year-old Joseph Fischer was inside his father's house next door when he grabbed his two dogs and ran next door -- asking for neighbors to call 911.

Village of Summit house fire

Lauren Decker

"For being that cold, we were all standing out here with a light jacket. It was that warm from the heat," Decker said.

Investigators say, Fischer admitted to "smoking three bowls of marijuana" prior to the fire starting. He allegedly "blew the burnt marijuana ashes out of his pipe bowl" and onto the front porch. Police say he did this three times in roughly an hour-and-a-half, before realizing boxes outside his door caught on fire.

"The house was essentially lost by the time we got here," said Assistant Fire Chief Glenn Leidel, Western Lakes Fire District.

Village of Summit house fire

Village of Summit house fire

At the time, fire crews told FOX6 it took 30,000 gallons of water to get the fire under control. It caused $200,000 in damage.

Decker says, Fisher is now living out of his RV. While the house was still burning, Fischer allegedly admitted to neighbors, he too, was lit.

Village of Summit house fire

"He did. He was mentioning that he was smoking marijuana and the flames got out of hand," said Decker.

Fischer faces a misdemeanor charge of "negligent handling of burning material" and is due back in court next month.

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