Contact 15: Adams County Residents Rebuilding Without Rip-offs

By: Natalie Swaby
By: Natalie Swaby

30 homes are gone and dozens of families are displaced after last week's wildfire that burned more than 3,410 acres in Adams County.

"I come back the next day, this is all I have left," says Craig Pinkowski as he points to the burnt back side of his Big Flats home.

For the Pinkowski family, moving day was less than two weeks away when the massive wildfire ripped through their brand new property.

"I just got through finishing it," he says.

Flames ate their way up the house. A burnt basement, twisted furniture, and a melted walkway are evidence. But what he misses most is the landscape.

"I had 10 tree stands on 47 acres, and now nothing. There ain't a tree," says the property owner.

Just down the road from Pinkowski, another family has nothing left. Fortunately, for all effected by this fire there are good agencies ready to help.

"We are getting a lot of phone calls," says Jane Grabarski of the Adams County Emergency Management. "There is still people wondering, people who haven't been able to get to their property yet, wondering if we could tell them what we have seen."

Others who have seen the sights want to rebuild, but crooked contractors and insurance fraud can be factors in devastating situations like this one.

As far as scams go Grabarski says, "we haven't heard anything like that happening at this point, but we are watching, and we have lots of agencies talking to people one on one."

So far for Pinkowski, he has found honest workers to help him rebuild.

"If the builders find a nickel they give it to me," he says.

Adams County says they haven't had any reports of problems yet, but if anyone does encounter bad business offers they should let authorities as well as Wisconsin Consumer Protection know about it. Emergency Management is hosting a dinner next week where contractors, the Red Cross, and the Salvation Army will be available to residents who have questions.

NBC15 615 Forward Drive Madison, Wisconsin 53711 Business: 608-274-1515 Newsroom: 608-274-1500
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 1580362 -
Gray Television, Inc.