Wisconsin father, uncle jailed in fire that killed 3
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The father and uncle of three children who were killed in a house fire in southwestern Wisconsin were jailed Sunday on suspicion of arson.
The father, 32-year-old Armin J. Wand III, and 18-year-old uncle, Jeremy L. Wand, each faces a tentative felony charge of arson of a building with intent to defraud, according to a joint statement released by the village of Argyle Police Department, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office and the State Fire Marshal at the Division of Criminal Investigation.
The investigation into the fire is ongoing and no further information was immediately available, according to the statement.
Wand told WKOW-TV from UW Hospital on Saturday that his wife, Sharon Wand, couldn’t find the phone to call 911 when the fire started at about 3 a.m. Friday. He said he couldn’t get to the room where his three boys — Joseph, 3, Jeffrey, 5, and Allen, 7 — were trapped.
Sharon Wand remained hospitalized in critical condition Sunday. Armin Wand said Saturday that she was on a ventilator because her lungs were burned in the fire, but that their 2-year-old daughter was out of the hospital and doing OK.
The children’s grandfather, Armin Wand, Jr., told WKOW he talked to his son after the fire.
“He did tell me he tried to go in through the window to get the two oldest out and one was crying and that’s the last he heard. He couldn’t get in there fast enough,” he said.
The owner of the house, Tom Zwicker of Monroe, told The Associated Press on Friday that he had rented the home to a husband, wife and their four children, but he had no information about them.
Argyle is 34 miles southwest of Madison.