Hometown tragedy for Argyle community

Fire leaves 3 children dead, mother hospitalized

Three brothers are dead and their mother is in the hospital after a house fire in Argyle. It’s a tragedy that is affecting the entire community.

Shortly after 3 a.m. Friday, crews responded to a fire in the 400 block of Oak Street.

Argyle police confirm the children are Allen Wand, 7, Jeffery Wand, 5, and Joseph Wand, 3. 

UW Hospital says their mother, Sharon Wand, is still in critical condition. 

Two others were treated at a hospital and released. 

About 15 minutes from the house that went up in flames, Pec-Argyle football took the home field under the Friday night lights. The crowd held a moment of silence for the family, the first show of support from the community.

“Coming from a small community, we all know each other,” fan Stephanie Kleppe said.

Kleppe says she lives close enough to the fire station to hear the sirens and describes the noise as “eerie” since it’s almost definite that she will know whoever is affected by an area emergency.

Kleppe adds that the situation is unimaginable for her as a mom.

“As a parent,” Kleppe explained, “you can’t fathom the thought of losing any child let alone three.”

Cher Schliem is a teacher at Pecatonica High School, but says her students are feeling this tragedy too.

“The kids at school today were so upset by it,” Schliem said. “And knowing the pain the other kids in the community were going through, just, you know, it touches everyone around us.”

Neighbors who watched the family’s house engulfed in flames, described screams from people trapped inside.

Hometown tragedy for Argyle community

In the end, Schliem and Kleppe are confident in their community and what it will do to support this family.

“We go through things together, and we try to be there for one another,” Schliem said. “Sometimes it’s a small world for a good reason.”

Friends and family of Sharon Ward who were with her in the hospital did not want to talk to the media.