CONTINUING COVERAGE: Donations being accepted for family that lo - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Donations being accepted for family that lost home in fire


(WQOW)-Donations are being accepted for an Elk Mound family that lost their home in a fire earlier this week.

The family is in need of clothing and household items. Clothing sizes needed are:

BOYS: 14, 10, 5

GIRLS: 14, 12, 8, 3T

Women's size: 18

You can drop off items on March 18 and March 20 from 5-7 p.m. at Cornerstone Apostolic Church in Elk Mound. The family is also in need of a vehicle and is looking for a place to rent in Elk Mound.

Also, monetary donations are being accepted at Independence State Bank in Elk Mound. Please put c/o Fire Victims in the memo part. Checks need to be made out to Independence State Bank.

Send them to:

Independence State Bank

P.O. Box 325

Elk Mound, WI 54739



Elk Mound (WQOW) - An Elk Mound fire that nearly left a house a total loss, rekindled overnight.

Fire Chief Les Shafer says he's as surprised as anyone the fire started again, as he was inside the home multiple times on Tuesday, even taking insurance adjusters through.

Crews were called to the scene around 11:00 Tuesday night. It's unclear how the fire reignited. The home was around 80% destroyed, with some personal belongings still salvageable. Now, there's nothing left.

The fire first started early Tuesday morning.


Story from 3/11

Elk Mound (WQOW) - An Elk Mound family is without a home after a fire destroys theirs and one member of the family is being called a hero.  

It was around 2 o'clock Tuesday morning when 15-year-old, Malachi Gunderson, realized something was wrong. He says, "There was smoke everywhere."

His mother, Paula Gunderson, says, "Malachi came up to where we were sleeping and woke me up."

They tried to go back down the stairs, "But it was too smoky. So we closed the door off and we were all in one bedroom," explains Paula.  

After getting the family out of the smoke, onto the roof of their Elk Mound home and into the fresh air, Malachi jumped and began searching for a way to get everyone else down. "Went over by the neighbors garage and grabbed their ladder, carried it over to the front of the house. I leaned it up there and helped everyone get down," explains Malachi.  

Aside from a few of the children inhaling a little too much smoke, the family is safe.  Paula says, "I haven't had anything that scary. Hopefully, never again."

Malachi says, "I'm just glad everyone made it out."

Lt. Josh Carlisle, with the Elk Mound Fire Department, says,   "He saved lives today. He made the right actions and did the right things and he deserves to be the hero of the day."

But Malachi says he was just helping his family. Paula says, "I'm very proud of Malachi. It means a lot. That's his brothers and sisters."

The family's home was left with over $100,000 in damage and they're currently staying at a hotel. Paula says they're receiving help from the Red Cross. 

The fire chief says the flames started in the basement, but what caused the fire is still under investigation.


(WQOW) - A family of nine is without a home after a fire damaged their Elk Mound home.

It started early this morning. The Elk Mound Fire Chief says it's a two story house on University Street. The Red Cross is providing assistance with food, clothing and temporary housing. The organization says it also provided support to the 45 first responders on the scene.

We'll have more information as it becomes available on later newscasts and right here on our website.

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