UPDATE: Lightning strike confirmed as cause of Holmen fire - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: Lightning strike confirmed as cause of Holmen fire

Posted: Updated:
Holmen, WI (WXOW) -

Lightning was the cause of a fire Monday afternoon at an assisted living center in Holmen.

The fire forced 37 residents from the Prairie Home Assisted Living facility.

Holmen Fire Chief Paul Menches told WXOW Tuesday that they could tell it was a lightning strike by the type of damage to the roof shingles and burn marks on the roof line. 

Clean up is underway in the building from the fire, smoke, and water damage. 

There were no serious injuries reported in the fire and subsequent evacuation. 

The Holmen Fire Department responded to the scene of a fire at an assisted living center Monday afternoon.

A fire alarm went off around 1:30pm at Prairie Home Assisted Living at 620 Malin Court. Holmen Fire Department said the call came in shortly after a substantial lightening strike in the area. 

Upon arrival, smoke and fire were seen coming from the roof of the building. Holmen Police, Fire, and mutual aid from Galesville arrived on scene to a full evacuation in progress. Police and fire aided in said evacuation and each of the 37 residents were accounted for. No injuries were reported, Tri-State Ambulance was on scene, but according to the Holmen Police Chief, no one was transported with any injuries.

2 transit buses and a bus from the Holmen School District were utilized in getting the residents off scene. The building suffered smoke and water damage and plans are currently being worked on to house each resident until that damage can be repaired. No word yet on how long those residents could be displaced.

Each resident was safely evacuated, and the fire was under control in 30 minutes according to Holmen Fire Chief Paul Menches. Chief Menches said this was an important reminder that fires can happen at any time, and having a plan in place can save lives.

"It happens and you can do only so much," said Menches. "But the thing is to have a plan in place so if something does happen, we can get the folks out. We can replace property, but we can't replace lives."

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