Fort Atkinson community mourns loss of two children in house fire, helps family

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 12:46 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -The Fort Atkinson community is stepping up to help a local family get back on their feet following a fatal house fire.

“The first thing I told my wife was, ‘I hope everybody got out’ and it wasn’t until last night that I found out, not everybody did,” A.J. Beck, Fort Atkinson neighbor said.

A tight-knit community shaken by tragedy.

“It broke my heart,” Beck said.

Fort Atkinson fire officials said around 3:30 a.m. Jan. 23, a house on Milo street filled with flames. Authorities said two young boys didn’t make it out.

Neighbors dropped off flowers to pay respects to the victims who lost their lives in the fire. It’s one of many ways people in the community are stepping up to show this family they aren’t alone.

“In a small community. It’s time for us to come together and help them,” Bill Roberts, St. Vincent De Paul conference local president said.

The non-profit is helping the family get back on their feet.

“As a parent myself I can’t imagine losing a child and then losing all my possessions as well,” he said.

Neighbors are donating clothes and other basic needs. An online fundraiser reached nearly $40,000.

If you’re a stranger or not, neighbors said everyone is family.

“The family has got to be hurting and anything we can do as a community to rebuild or support them, I’m all for it,” Beck said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. Fort Atkinson police and the Wisconsin state fire marshals office are investigating.

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