Brussels family loses everything in house fire

Fire destroyed a home in the Door County community of Brussels Tuesday, leaving the family without their pets and belongings.
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 9:09 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2022 at 4:09 PM CST
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DOOR COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - After a devastating fire left two Algoma teachers with nothing, two different communities are stepping up to help.

Fire destroyed a home in the Door County community of Brussels Tuesday, leaving the family without their pets and belongings.

At 2:40 p.m., crews responded to the scene in the area of Pit and Ledge Roads. B.U.G. Fire says they found the home engulfed in flames and starting to collapse.

“The residence is a complete loss,” the department says.

Kandi and Chuck Bretl returned from their teaching jobs to find their home destroyed. They lost everything, including a dog and six kittens.

Wednesday it got worse when their stand-alone shed also caught fire.

Friends say Chuck teaches 3rd grade and Kandi is a paraprofessional who works with the special education staff. They’re described as “caring people who are always doing for others.”

A GoFundMe has been started for the couple. CLICK HERE to donate to the GoFundMe.

We talked with the Algoma schools superintendent, Nick Cochart, who said the Bretls are doing OK and have honestly been overwhelmed with the support they’ve received from their community. People in both Door and Kewaunee counties have stepped up.

Cochart says the outpouring of love for the family isn’t surprising as they’ve always been ones to give to their communities.

“In situations like this, I think we learn people matter. Above all else, people matter and how we treat each other and support each other is going to help us in the long run,” Cochart said.

Culver’s and Door Stop Amoco in Sturgeon Bay announced 10% of restaurant sales and 5% of convenience store sales on Wednesday, February 23, will go to the Bretls. Culver’s plans to deliver orders to Algoma and Sevastopol all day long but orders must be for 4 or more people and called or emailed to the restaurant by noon on Tuesday, February 22. Information can be found on the Door Stop Amoco Facebook page.

The Brsussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department received help at the fire scene from Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, Casco and Luxemburg fire departments, Door County EMS, Door County Sheriff’s Department, and WPS. Fire crews were on scene for about five hours, clearing out at 8 p.m.

“B.U.G. Fire would like to thank everyone who provided food and water to our firefighters,” reads a statement on Facebook. “It was very much appreciated!”

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