UPDATE: Montello Firefighters Rescue Mother and 3 Children from Fire; Father Speaks

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 --- 6:18 p.m.
by Tim Elliott

Many are calling those firefighters heroes, including the father of the three rescued children. NBC 15's Tim Elliott spoke with him as he toured the damaged home for the first time.

It was certainly an emotional experience for Richard Labumbard. His home is gone. But one thing that is still by his side: his family. And for that, he is forever grateful.

“It's totaled, gone, everything, everything is gone,”

Davis Drive in Montello. This is where Richard Labumbard, his girlfriend Jamie and their three sons used to call home.

“This is the first time I've been to the house since the fire,”

Monday is a day Richard and his family won't soon forget.

“I was on my way to work and I got a phone call saying your home is on fire,”

Montello fire chief Glen Bubolz and his team came to the rescue.

“The page went out at 6:16 am that we had a fully involved structure fire with four people trapped inside,” said Chief Bubolz

Jamie and her sons; 4-year-old Corey and 2-year-old twins Evan and Richard couldn't get out.

“Are we going to die?” asks one of her sons on the 911 tapes. “No, baby we're not going to die,” Jamie responds.

“There was flames coming out of the backside, a lot of heavy heavy dark smoke,” describes Chief Bubolz.

The volunteer firefighters sprang into action.

“We got the ladders out, broke the windows,” said Bubolz. “Payton Drew jumped into the building without knowing much, it was a brave thing to do.”

Firefighters plucked each person from the burning home and saved their lives.

“It was outstanding, those guys deserve all the credit in the world,” said an emotional Bubolz.

Chief Bubolz is quick to deflect any notoriety or recognition to his fellow firefighters who were with him Monday morning. But the family involved says they are just thankful that someone was there to save their lives.

“It's our job, it's part of what we do,” explained Bubolz.

Now Richard is left surveying the damage.

“There's like nothing,”

A home full of memories gone forever. But with this girlfriend and three kids all OK, Richard has all he needs.

“I'm grateful for all the firefighters that risked their lives to save my girlfriend's life and my kids' lives,” said Richard. “I'm at a loss for words for those guys, I'm so thankful,”

Jamie and her three sons were treated and released from the hospital for smoke inhalation. There is no word yet on what caused that fire. Richard says the Red Cross is helping them out. He also says he and his family will be staying with his sister until they get back on their feet.

UPDATED Tuesday, January 15, 2013 --- 3:50 p.m.

Authorities have released the 911 call in the case.

To listen to it, click the video link above.


UPDATED Tuesday, January 15, 2013 --- 1:00 p.m.

NBC15's Tim Elliott spoke with the Montello Fire Chief and the father of the children rescued from yesterday's fire.

They report that the mother and three children have been released from the hospital.

Tim will have updates tonight on NBC15 News at 5 and 6.


UPDATED: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 --- 8:45 a.m.

MONTELLO, Wis. (AP) -- A mother and her three young children are recovering after firefighters rescued them from their burning home in the town of Montello.

Fire Chief Glen Bubolz says the house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived Monday. As he walked around the house and called out to occupants, a woman put her hand out a second-story window. Bubolz says she was on the phone with sheriff's dispatchers and brought the children to one room when it became clear they couldn't get out of the house on their own.

A firefighter went into the burning house filled with black smoke and handed the children, all under age 5, to another firefighter waiting on a ladder. Then the mother was brought down the ladder. The State Journal says all were taken to a Portage hospital. One child was transferred to a Madison hospital.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 --- 12:14 p.m.

At 6:16 this morning, Montello firefighters received a 911 call regarding a structure fire at N3934 Davis Dr.

Upon arrival, firefighters learned a mother and her three children were trapped inside. Despite heavy black smoke, firefighters were able to get inside the burning home and rescue all of them.

The victims were transported to a hospital in Portage. Their conditions are unknown, but the Montello fire chief says all four were breathing when they were rescued. The chief also estimates all the children are under the age of 5. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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