TOWN OF FULTON
As they watched smoke billow over the treetops shortly after midnight Friday, two young women drove onto East Meadow Circle and honked their car’s horn.
They called 911 and kept honking, hoping to wake people inside the burning house at 933 Meadow Circle.
An off-duty Wisconsin State Patrol trooper and an off-duty Rock County sheriff’s deputy were sitting on a deck at a house nearby when they heard the horn.
They ran to the scene and forced their way into the home to help evacuate the five people and two dogs sleeping soundly inside.
Edgerton Fire Chief Randy Pickering said the young women and the law enforcement officers committed acts of heroism.
The house, valued at $263,400, is a total loss, Pickering said. The homeowners, Mark and Stephanie Boeche; their two grandsons and daughter who were visiting; and their dogs all are safe.
The Boeche’s insurance company is providing a hotel for them until they find permanent housing.
Two cars parked in the garage are destroyed.
The fire started outside and caught the garage on fire before spreading up the side of the house and ripping through the attic, Pickering said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Pickering said it is possible fireworks were involved. The fire appears to have been accidental.
Firefighters were dispatched at 12:28 a.m. The fire was under control an hour later and extinguished at about 5 a.m. Crews remained on the scene until about 10 a.m. Friday, Pickering said.
Edgerton Deputy Chief Jason Russ lives in the neighborhood and was on the scene in a minute, Pickering said.
More than a dozen fire departments from Rock and Dane counties responded to the fire. Every department called for mutual aid sent help, which is rare on a busy night such as the Fourth of July, Pickering said.
“We were pretty impressed in terms of speed we could get all the mutual aid there,” Pickering said.
The family spent Friday morning salvaging what they could from the home. Some family photos were recovered among other items, said Niles Boeche, son of the homeowners, who spoke to a Gazette photographer at the scene.
Firefighters try to minimize damage to personal property while extinguishing fires, Pickering said.
The homeowners kept historical documents dating back to Abraham Lincoln’s era. Most of those documents were recovered, Pickering said.
Pickering was amazed by the compassion he saw from neighbors while on the scene.
“You can tell when people genuinely care about each other,” Pickering said. “This is a tight-knit neighborhood.”