Investigators said foul play has been ruled out as they search for the cause of a fire that destroyed a Slumberland Furniture store in Prairie du Chien on Sunday night.
The Prairie du Chien Police Department teamed up with the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Division of Criminal Investigation Office of the Wisconsin State Fire Marshalls Office, Wisconsin State Patrol and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office for this investigation.
Police Chief Chad Abram said after two days of investigation, “there has not been any indication of foul play at this time as to the cause of the fire.”
Investigators were working Monday at the scene of a fire that completely destroyed a Slumberland Furniture in the heart of Prairie du Chien Sunday night.
The building is part of a strip mall that sustained heavy smoke damage from the fire, but Slumberland itself completely unrecognizable. Crews were still there Monday night, maintaining hot spots and keeping the fire from flaring up again.
Sunday, firefighters were forced to go on the defensive almost immediately and fight from the outside of the building to keep everyone safe.
Several homes around Slumberland were evacuated, and the local high school opened its doors as a shelter for the night. Brenda Cipra lives across the street from the strip mall, and while she was able to stay inside her home, she said flames were just hundreds of feet from her.
"The smoke was rolling out of the first door there, and it was so bad and so black that my vehicles that were parked [in the driveway,] you could hardly see them," Cipra said.
More than a hundred firefighters from seven different departments fought through the night to keep the blaze under control.
Crews were standing by Monday afternoon, hoping to demolish the arches of the Slumberland building, with the fear that they might fall sooner rather than later. Firefighters were waiting for state investigators to finish their work before taking those steps.
There is no word yet on what caused the fire.
Many businesses in Black Hawk Junction Mall were closed Monday.
Multiple fire agencies are on the scene of a large fire at the Black Hawk Junction in Prairie du Chien.
The mall is located near the center of town. Calls to the fire and police departments went unanswered Sunday, but residents near the area have been sending in pictures and information.
The pics show large flames and lots of smoke coming from the Slumberland in the mall. There are also several unconfirmed reports that houses in the area are being evacuated. Photos in the daylight showed mostly smoke, but after nightfall the flames appear to grow.
We have a crew on the scene, we'll share the latest as soon as we have it.