Argyle community coping with fire tragedy - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Argyle community coping with fire tragedy


ARGYLE (WKOW) -- The story of the tragic fire that killed three young boys in Lafayette County hits home for the people who live in the small town of Argyle, as they cope with a horrific crime.

Emergency crews responded to the fire around 3 a.m. on Friday. About two-thirds of the volunteer Argyle Fire Department were there, fighting the flames. Fire Chief Randy Martin says crews had the fire out within about seven minutes. Those seven minutes and the following three days he wishes he could forget.

"We just did our job, what we had to do, and once the flames were out the rest was just unbelievable," says Martin.

Martin says nearly a week later, fire crews are still shaken. The department held a debriefing session with crews so they could talk about what happened and express the emotions they've been feeling about finding the three Wand boys inside the home. He says it was rough on all of them, whether veteran firefighter or brand new with the department.

"We prepare for attacking the fires and taking care of property, but to have to go in... with children it's just twice as bad as anything else," Martin says.

The Argyle community overall is struggling to cope with this tragedy. It's a small town of just 850 people, many who know the Wand family.

"[I] talked to a lot of people here and it's just total disbelief. They just can't understand it," says village president Wayne Wilson.

Wilson says the incident is the most horrific thing Argyle has ever seen, but he's confident the village can move on.

"This is not the history of Argyle, it's not the history of rural America, it's not the history of Lafayette County," says Wilson.

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