UPDATE: Sauk County officials identify Thursday fire victim - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Sauk County officials identify Thursday fire victim

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LOGANVILLE (WKOW) -- The Sauk County Sheriff's Office confirmed to 27 News Friday that woman killed in Thursday's apartment fire in Loganville was 70-year-old Katherine Pierce.

The fire started in a four-unit apartment building on South Main Street. Loganville Fire Chief Kent Westphal said the source of the fire may have been a recliner in Pierce's apartment, but the cause is still the subject of investigation.

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LOGANVILLE (WKOW) -- Authorities said a fire in Loganville's downtown Thursday claimed one life, as apartment tenants scurried to safety from flames and smoke, in their old building.

Friends identified the victim to 27 News as 70-year old Katherine "Kay" Pierce.

Loganville Fire Chief Kent Westphal said firefighters' search and rescue efforts were hindered by thick smoke in the building at 55 South Main Street.

Tenant James Johnston told 27 News a bystander also tried to get into Pierce's apartment, but was also thwarted by the smoke.

Westphal said the fire's cause is still under investigation, but said the source of the fire in the four unit apartment building may have been a recliner in Pierce's apartment.

Jim Howell owns Aunt Ozie's Cafe, across the street from the fire scene. Howell told 27 News he brought Pierce dinner every night, and worried about her smoking, and burning of candles in her cluttered apartment.

Howell said Pierce would occasionally call to summon him with her favorite dessert, a chocolate milk shake.

"There was a really loveable streak about her," Howell told 27 News.

Other friends say Pierce used a walker, and spent most days in the spring and summer on the porch in front of her ground floor apartment, serving as Loganville's unofficial greeter.

Westphal said the building was a total loss as a result of the fire.

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LOGANVILLE (WKOW) -- The Sauk County Sheriff's Communications Center was notified of a structure fire on Walnut Street Thursday morning.

Initial reports were of one occupant being trapped in a downstairs apartment.  Loganville Fire and Sauk County Sheriff's were dispatched to the scene.  The building is a two story, four unit apartment building.

Responding units found heavy fire inside.  Mutual aid was requested from Hillpoint, Reedsburg, LaValle, and Plain Fire Departments.  Ambulances from Reedsburg,Plain and Baraboo also responded.

The building housed four single tenants.  One was unable to escape the fire and was pronounced dead at the scene by Sauk County Coroner, Greg Hahn.     No other injuries were reported, however, they are all displaced.  

Highway 23 at Highway 154 remained closed, in both directions, for most of the day. 

The fire remains under investigation.

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LOGANVILLE (WKOW) -- The Sauk County Sheriff's Office received a call of a small apartment building on fire shortly before 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Along with the sheriff's office, five fire departments and three ambulance units responded to the fire, near Highway 23 in Loganville.

Authorities say one person was found dead inside the building, but no other information about injuries or the cause are being released at this time. 

The building will likely be a total loss.

Stay with WKOW 27 News for updates.

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