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Update: Wood Stove Likely Cause of Auto Body Fire

Posted at: 12/04/2012 5:40 PM
Updated at: 12/04/2012 11:27 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

A family is picking up the pieces after their business and home was destroyed by a fire in Rice Lake Township. It happened Monday night and both buildings, owned by Gerald Nagle, are a complete loss.

On Tuesday, Rice Lake Fire Chief Matt Frantz said a wood stove was likely the cause of the blaze.

"It's really scary," Amanda Nagle, Gerald's daughter, said. "You never think this would happen to you. In a blink of an eye, it just happened so fast."

Amanda said it was her father's dream to own the shop. It has been in their family for years and her father was living in the next-door apartment when the blaze happened.

"My heart sank," Amanda said. "My grandfather owned the business and sold it to my father. So, we spent a lot of family Christmases in this apartment. My brother and I pretty much grew up here."

The town building department declared the property condemned, but some things were salvageable. A picture of Amanda's great grandfather was left untouched.

"It was hanging on the wall in my dad's bedroom," Amanda said. "I felt like I had hope."

Amanda said Gerald does not have insurance and is left without a home for the holidays. Amanda is just glad nobody was hurt.

"The most important thing is that everybody is safe," Amanda said. "You can replace all this, but you can't replace a life."

No one was injured in the fire and authorities said it is not suspicious. 

A fund is set up at U.S. Bank for people who want to donate money to the Nagle family.