By Barry Hoff | Bloomer Advance

On Saturday, Feb. 9, the Bloomer Fire Department was called to a structure fire near the intersection of CTH F and 220th Ave. in the town of Bloomer. The New Auburn and Eagle Point fire departments were called for mutual aid.

On Monday, Feb. 11, the New Auburn Fire Department was called to a structure fire west of New Auburn on CTH M. The Bloomer Fire Department was called for a full response mutual aid. Sand Creek Fire Department also responded to pump water from a nearby creek.

Saturday’s Fire

On Saturday, when the Bloomer Fire Department arrived they found the home of Dewayne and Julia Fossum and their three children fully engulfed. Dewayne is a longtime ag instructor and FFA advisor at Bloomer High School and Julia is the school nurse.

Bloomer Fire Chief Brian Bleskacek said, “It started and it went fast.”

Bleskacek said the property was a total loss.

The Fossums were home at the time of the fire, but made it out safely.

On Monday, Dewayne said the fire started in the mud room between the house and garage. He said they fought the fire for awhile, but the house filled up with black smoke and they had to get out. He said that it was one of the hardest decisions he’s ever had to make to give up and get out.

Dewayne said that something like this makes you think about things you take for granted.

“It really puts things in perspective,” said Dewayne. “You need pants and underwear so you think, ‘we’ll just run to Dollar General and buy some,’ but then you realize you don’t have your credit card because your wallet was in the house.”

And so was his cell phone. He called this reporter on one of his sons’ cell phone. His son had his phone because he grabbed it to call 911.

But the Fossum’s are very thankful for the support of the community.

“We’ve been so blessed by the support of the community and our church,” said Dewayne. “It’s amazing to be part of a community like Bloomer.”

He did ask for prayers for wisdom as they go through the process of rebuilding and getting life back to normal. Thankfully they were insured.

However, a donation jar is available at Shadick’s Sporting Goods & Hardware and a fund is being set up at Security Financial Bank to help the family with expenses not covered by insurance.

The Fossums are staying with family in Bloomer.

Monday’s Fire

Flames and black smoke were coming from the upper part of Carol Anderson’s house on Monday afternoon while the fire departments fought the second structure fire in three days, the third in just less than two weeks—a house fire in the town of Bloomer claimed the life of one man on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Anderson wasn’t home when the fire started in her house. She arrived shortly after the fire trucks. She had been at a quilting group in the morning and then went out to lunch. The fire departments were paged at 1:14 p.m.

Ironically, Anderson’s quilting group had been putting together five quilts to give to the Fossum family who had lost their house to fire two days before.

“Now, I wish I had donated all my fabric to the church,” said Anderson as she watched the black smoke and fire coming from her house.

The Red Cross was called and responded to the Anderson fire.

The New Auburn Fire Department left the scene about 5:45 p.m.

New Auburn Fire Chief Tom Bischel said Monday evening that the house was a total loss. He also said they were ruling the cause of the fire as electrical on the west side of the structure.

Bischel wished to thank the Bloomer Fire Department, Bloomer EMS and re-hab trailer, and Sand Creek Fire Department for their assistance.