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Couple left homeless by Fond du Lac County blaze returns to see what’s salvageable

Fond du Lac County investigators ruled the fire as accidental
Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 7:57 PM CST
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FOREST, Wis. (WBAY) - “This was the garage right here we’re standing in, that was a breezeway,” David Doleschal says pointing and walking through what was his old home.

This is the first time that he and his fiancée Amy Stubing have seen their house since the day a fire tore it apart.

“Mentally...it’s hard to deal with it,” Stubing said. “You don’t know how to deal with it until you’re put into the situation. It’ s just a lot to take in. Everything you’ve accumulated over the years is just gone.”

The fire happened on February 1 along Highway 23 in the town of Forest at approximately 2:51 p.m. The couple left their house 25 minutes before the flames started, and returned home in the evening to see everything gone.

“It was a shock to us when we came here,” Dolsechal said. “You don’t think it’s going to happen to you and when it does.” “It’s devastating,” Stubing interjected.

A stretch of Hwy 23 was shut down for three hours as crews worked to extinguish the flames.

Their dog was inside at the time but was rescued.

Fond du Lac County investigators ruled the cause as electrical with most of the damage a result of smoke and water.

Doleschal believes a chest refrigerator located in the garage is to blame.

“Right now we’re living three hours from here in Arpin in a little camper,” Stubing said. “You know, with nothing. We have nothing. We don’t even have water right now.”

Doleschall added, “we can’t keep [the camper] warm enough to have running water. The water’s going to freeze.”

They said they didn’t have renters insurance, letting it lapse during the pandemic to save money. A decision they now regret. The owner of the home, however, did have insurance on the house.

If you’re interested in helping them, here’s a link to their GoFundMe page. You can also reach them at 920-517-2085.

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