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Six left homeless after rural Knapp fire

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MENOMONIE -- A family of six lost their home early Thursday in a fire fought by six departments until late morning.

Menomonie firefighters were summoned by homeowners Randy and Denise Kiesow at 4:36 a.m. when they detected smoke after awakening to start the day. The Kiesows and their four children then safely evacuated the combined shed-residential structure.

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John Entorf, Menomonie Fire battalion chief, said his department requested mutual aid -- primarily water tankers -- from Colfax, Glenwood City, Elmwood, Durand and Boyceville fire departments within minutes. The residence is located at N6470 Hwy. Q, town of Lucas, -- about five miles north of Hwy. 29, south of I-94 and about 10 miles west of Menomonie.

Entorf offered a broad estimate of the losses at $250,000 to $300,000 on the structure and up to $200,000 in furnishings and contents.

Fire Chief Jack Baus told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram the fire appeared to have started in the shed or garage before spreading to the home's attic.

Entorf said the approximate 10-year old complex was heated by an external wood furnace.

Elmwood firefighters cleared about 7:30 a.m. but Menomonie crews remained on the scene until about 11 a.m.

The Menomonie chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the Kiesows, Entorf said.

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