House Burns, Ammo Explodes in Chippewa County WI Blaze
A house in the Chippewa County town of Cleveland caught fire Thursday morning, and ammunition in the home wound up exploding during the blaze.
‘We heard some explosions,’ said Cornell assistant fire Chief Steve Boulding. ‘He had 2,500 rounds of ammunition stored in one spot. You can hear the popping, and you can see the building raise up from the explosions.’
The home, at 23748 Highway Z, west of Cornell, was reported on fire at 12:50 p.m. Thursday. Firefighters arrived at 1:04 p.m., Boulding said.
It was fully engulfed,’ he said. ‘The south side had burned through. Shortly after we arrived, the whole house collapsed.’
Boulding said the house was approximately 100 years old, and about 30-feet-by-30-feet in size. The homeowner, Adam Johnson, had left his house at 9 a.m. Thursday. He returned home about an hour after firefighters arrived, and told the firefighters he had recently purchased the ammunition.
About 30 firefighters, including assistance from the Bloomer and Anson departments, were at the scene. Boulding said it was an extra challenge of fighting the blaze with temperatures hovering near zero, such as hoses freezing.
‘You’re dealing with the temperatures and the ice, and you are watching to make sure you don’t get injured,’ he said.