Posted Sunday December 23, 2012 --- 4:36 p.m.
From the Rock County Sheriff's Department:
On Sunday, December 23rd, at approximately 10:50 a.m., off duty Rock County 911 Center Tele-Communicator (Dispatcher) Aisha Brunton drove past a residence which appeared to be on fire at 9616 West Highway 81 in the Town of Newark. Brunton dialed 911 informing dispatch about the house fire. Brunton drove up to the house and knocked on the door alerting 87 year-old Harold Kauffman that the house was on fire. At this time Brunton could see the chimney was on fire and Kauffman was able to exit the residence safely.
Shortly after arrival of police and fire the second story of the house erupted into flame, engulfing a large part of the residence. At 11:20 a.m., Highway 81 was shut down between County Highway H and South Olson Road. As of 4:30 p.m. that portion of the road remains closed. It is unclear at this time what may have started the fire, however, the first smoke and flames detected were around the chimney area.
The house appears to be a total loss with an undetermined monetary amount. The house belongs to Harold Kauffman’s son, Arthur Kauffman, 63, of Newark. Arthur was not home at the time of the fire.