Fire wipes out rural house
A before-dawn blaze Thursday, June 17, destroyed an unoccupied house in the town of Clifton. River Falls Fire Chief Chris Cernohous said the house was burning for some time and was basically a smoldering debris that had imploded into the basement by the time firefighters arrived.
"I've really never seen anything like it," Cernohous said, who described the house as older, fairly big, somewhat isolated and southwest of County Road QQ. The address is N7425 1170th St.
Prescott's Fire Department actually got to the house blaze first. A dispatcher in neighboring Washington County in Minnesota took the first call about the fire at 5 a.m. Pierce County Sheriff's Emergency Dispatch was then notified.
River Falls firefighters were on the scene for two hours. Cernohous said they returned later in the day to douse several hot spots.
Almost the entire structure of the house collapsed.
Because of the mess and some unstable concrete walls, Cernohous said the investigation into the fire's cause has been delayed. He wouldn't rule out arson, but said it was just a number of possibilities that would be looked at.
Cernohous said he thought the owners of the vacant house were in the process of trying to sell it.