Woman dies in Thursday fire at her residence on Arctic Street, no cause set|
|A gold Christmas star still hung from the front stoop of the Thelma Bula home today, hours after a smoky fire swept through the structure and left the 85-year-old woman dead.|
Antigo firefighters responded to the home at 1418 Arctic St., about a block south of the Langlade County Fairgrounds, just before 2 p.m. on Thursday, when three passersby in quick succession called 911 to report smoke pouring from a one-story bungalow.
A full five-member crew of firefighters and paramedics, along with Antigo Police squads, were on the scene within minutes. They discovered Mrs. Bula unconscious in her living room, overcome by smoke.
According to Fire Chief Jon Petroskey, emergency personnel quickly initiated lifesaving measures and cardiopulmonary resuscitation and rushed Mrs. Bula to Langlade Hospital only a few blocks away. She was pronounced dead in the hospital’s urgent care unit.
“It was difficult for everyone at the scene,” Petroskey said, voicing the emotions likely felt by all at the scene only hours after the Christmas. “They initiated live-saving measures and thought they had saved her, only to find out that she had died. And then they still had to come back and fight the fire.”
Antigo called in personnel from the town of Antigo and Rural Fire Control to help control the smoky blaze.
“It was a difficult fire to fight, because it went charging though the walls and into the basement,” Petroskey said. “We had people on the scene for about four hours before gaining control.”
Mrs. Bula had a cat, Petroskey said, which is now missing and presumed to have died in the fire as well. The house sustained significant damage.
Because the incident involved a fatality, the state fire marshal was called in to assist local investigators. That review was completed this morning.
“Nothing suspicious has been found,” Eric Roller, the city’s public safety director, said. “An exact source of the fire could not be determined as there were multiple ignition courses that could not be excluded.”
Mrs. Bula was a Bryant native who spent much of her adult life working in the Milwaukee area. She and her husband, Ray, returned to Antigo in 1980. He died 12 years ago.
Services are pending at the Bradley Funeral Home.
Firemen and local safety officials were outside a home at 1418 Arctic St. Thursday afternoon that claimed the life of its resident, Thelma Bula. She was taken from the building and pronounced dead at the hospital.
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