Western Wisconsin Roundup: More information about last week's Eau Claire apartment fire won't be known until NovemberWestern Wisconsin News
-- An Eau Claire fire inspector says there are still lots of questions to be answered about the October eighth apartment fire that killed two college students from Minnesota.
An Eau Claire fire inspector says there are still lots of questions to be answered about the October eighth apartment fire that killed two college students from Minnesota. But Gary Puljas said the blaze appears to have started in one of the apartment’s four bedrooms. Jacob Clarkson and Ross Livermore, both 21 from Stillwater Minnesota, were killed. Two other U-W Eau Claire students from Stillwater escaped with minor injuries. Puljas said investigators were still trying to determine if the electrical outlets were overloaded – and what types of appliances were in the apartment, including space heaters. The blaze occurred above a real estate office. The building’s owner said there were three smoke detectors in the apartment, and Puljas says investigators are still trying to determine if they were working – or if they had batteries. He said more would be known in early November, after fire inspectors and insurance adjusters look at the wreckage.
A northwest Wisconsin man is accused of strangling another man after an argument about money – and then burying his body two counties away. 45-year-old Larry Fernandez of Ladysmith was charged yesterday in Eau Claire County with first-degree intentional homicide. A million-dollar bond was set for Fernandez during his initial court appearance. He’s due back October 30th, when a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to put him on trial. Police said Fernandez strangled 52-year-old Brian Harvey with a belt in August at the victim’s home in Eau Claire – and he then dumped the body in his home county of Rusk. Eau Claire Police Chief Jerry Matysik said another man saw the incident, and Fernandez tried to pin the murder on him. Harvey’s remains were found on Monday, and the victim’s identity was confirmed during an autopsy.