News: Neillsville - Benefit to Support Neillsville House Fire Victims (2022)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Elmhorst, Finck

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 8/10/2022

Benefit to Support Neillsville House Fire Victims (2022)

Speakeasy Saloon and Grill will host a benefit Aug. 13 to assist the Elmhorst family with expenses related to losing their home to a fire in July. Dana, Jesse, son Barrett Janicki and daughters, Della and Evelyn have been staying in hotels and their RV while they sort out the mess that fire left them. Submitted photo

By Jesse Heslip

A Neillsville family saw bad luck strike twice. Storms rolling through the area on July 10 caused lightning to strike the home of Dana and Jesse Elmhorst, leading to a house fire. The home was deemed a total loss; however, friends and family along with the community will come together to help out through a benefit event Aug 13.

The Press spoke to Jesse’s sister and event coordinator Jackie Finck about the blaze.

“The family was all home at the time. Everyone heard an explosion, and they could smell smoke and something burning. An electrical outlet was smoldering and burnt out along with a power strip,” Finck stated.

“Shortly after, Dana went outside to see if he could tell what got hit and noticed smoke, so he got everyone out of the house and called 911,” she continued.

At that time, the fire churned in the upstairs of the home. However, the fire department arrived on scene and was able to get the blaze contained and eventually extinguished. At least they thought it was extinguished.

“After the dust settled and the fire was put out, the upstairs was a total loss at that time and most of the downstairs was water damaged, but everything was put out, so they moved an RV to a family member’s house a short distance away to establish a place to stay while they figured out what to do next.

“That’s when the neighbor noticed that the smoldering smoke had gotten worse and had now turned into flames, so he called 911 again. The fire department returned to put the fire out a second time, but it was too late, and the entire house was engulfed and eventually burned to the ground.”

For the last month, Jesse and Dana along with their three children ages 3, 5 and 12 have been rotating from camping out of an RV and staying in hotels in the area.

Dana is a combat veteran and current U.S Army Reserves soldier. The family is active in the community, and Dana and Jesse operate the Neillsville American Legion.

Dana’s sisters Jackie and Jayme have put together a benefit for the family at the Speakeasy Saloon and Grill on USH 10 in Neillsville on Aug. 13 starting at 2 p.m. There will be a gun board, door prizes, raffles, a DJ and more. Anyone interested in helping out or making donations can reach out to Jackie at 715-670-8975 or Jayme at 715-896-1803 for more information.

(Note: The Clark County Press incorrectly reported the status of the Dana and Jesse Elmhorst home after the fire. The house had extensive interior damage; however, it did not burn to the ground. The Press regrets its error.)



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