Downtown Pulaski fire caused by tree falling on power line

A crew was cutting down a tree when it fell on the wire, sparking the fire
The police chief confirms a crew was cutting down a tree when it hit the wires, sparking the fire
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:44 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 9:30 AM CDT
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PULASKI, Wis. (WBAY) - The Pulaski fire chief confirms a fire that destroyed two downtown businesses and several apartments was caused by a tree falling on a power line.

Pulaski Tri-County Fire Chief James Styczynski says a crew was cutting down the tree when it fell on the wires, sparking the fire.

At least 20 departments responded to the fire, including Pulaski, Green Bay, Howard, Seymour, and Suamico.

Fire officials say the fire started on the second floor and worked its way down until it caved in. Departments then used an excavator to knock down the front wall to avoid more collapses and further expose the fire.

“We had some pretty bad challenges. The buildings shared common walls. We caught some breaks, though, and kept it from jumping,” Chief Styczynski said.

Crews rotated in and out every 20 minutes to battle the fire.

Fourteen tender trucks shuttled water from a fill site a mile away, so people living in the area didn’t have to worry about their water supply.

The building housed Lacount Auctions and A Kut Above Hair Salon.

No one was hurt. The American Red Cross is helping the people from the apartments who were displaced by the fire.

Firefighters monitored the wreckage for hotspots before leaving the scene overnight. West Pulaski Street was still closed between S. Saint Augustine and Chicago streets.

The fire chief told us he was thankful to all of the firefighters who kept the fire from spreading to other buildings.

“Our guys are super, and our mutual aid departments are great to work with too. Everybody is trained and everybody is doing it safely. We’re proud of our guys,” Chief Styczynski said.

The fire chief added there are a lot of risks involved when cutting down trees.

“It’s very dangerous even for skilled professionals when a tree falls in different areas. This one was very close to the power line, and it was a tough cut, so you have issues and it’s a tough situation.”

The next step is removing the debris that’s left from the collapse. The city will work with the business owners to do that.

The fire was contained to one downtown building