THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Extensive damage to the Arendt home.
2 Year Old Girl Dies In Amberg Home Fire
Lee-Ann Rose Arendt, 2, died early Tuesday, Nov. 26, in a fire that destroyed the home of her parents on U.S. 141, Amberg. Her mother, Martha Russell, 32, and two sisters, Samantha, 7, and Emma 7, were able to escape without injury. Her father, Paul Arendt, 55, was not at home and was reported to have been hunting in another part of the state.
The little girl was found in a closet in the upstairs portion of the destroyed home. Marinette County Coroner George Smith reported an autopsy revealed death was caused by smoke and soot inhalation.
Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve reported after investigation into the cause of the fire, it is believed the fire originated in the basement where two children were playing. It started accidentally by the children playing with a lighter. There was a delay in finding Lee-Ann Rose Arendt as it appears she hid when the fire broke out.
Concluding, Sauve reported the State Fire Marshal believes the fire to be accidental and there is no sign of foul play.
The fire was investigated by the Marinette County Sheriff Department, State Fire Marshal, Department of Justice Criminal Division and Marinette County Coroner.
The Marinette County Sheriff Department reported they received the fire call at 12:41 p.m. according to Chief Deputy James Hansen.
The Amberg Fire Department was the first to arrive on the scene and smoke was already coming from the building. The smoke spread and firefighters made several sweeps of the building and did not find anyone inside before they were forced out by the smoke and fire. Firefighters knew there was a child inside but were unable to locate her and remained at the scene for eight hours.
It was reported both the mother and father were unemployed at the time. The mother had been employed at Shaffer Park Resort for over six years which was shut down for the winter on Nov. 24.
A benefit account for the family has been established at Bank North, Wausaukee and its branch offices in Amberg, Pembine, Crivitz and Piggly Wiggly in Crivitz. Donations can also be sent to Bank North, P.O. Box 160, Crivitz, Wis. 54114.
Also responding were fire departments from Athelstane, Wausaukee and Marinette County Task Force along with rescue squads from Wausaukee, Pembine IFR, and Thedastar helicopter. Also responding were WPS, Coroner George Smith office, Marinette County Sheriff Department Auxiliary, Marinette County Emergency Government, Marinette County Sheriff Department and Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.