How to support victims of bonfire explosion

Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 5:16 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2022 at 5:20 AM CDT
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PULASKI, Wis. (WBAY) - Letters are welcome for victims of a bonfire explosion in Shawano County.

A family member of one of the victims says people can write messages of support and send them to:

Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Regional Burn Center

2301 N Lake Drive 5th Floor

Milwaukee WI 53211

Victims were burned Friday during a homecoming bonfire in the town of Maple Grove. Authorities say an accelerant was poured onto the fire, causing it to expand out of control, leaving several students from the Pulaski area needing medical treatment.

“What we heard is the kids were just getting to the hospitals and kids were being taken by people and that’s when the hospitals started to realize... what’s going on here? What happened? It was chaos.” Jen Ziech said.

Ziech is the aunt of Pulaski High graduate Brandon. He’s being treated for his burns in a Milwaukee hospital. She’s hopeful Brandon can make a full recovery.

“He’s... fighting... he’s in rough shape. They said the first 72 hours would be critical. He made it through that and we’re all going to end up going down there and seeing him,” Ziech continued.

Several GoFundMe pages have been set up to support the victims and their families.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information that could help with the investigation to reach out at 715-526-3111.

Pulaski Community School District Superintendent Allison Space says school is running on a normal schedule.

“Counselors and support are in place for all students,” Space says.

On Sunday, Assumption BVM Catholic Church opened its doors for a special prayer service.

“When the details started to come out about the event on Friday evening after the football game we knew that something had to be done,” Father Jim Gannon explained. “The whole village was impacted. We’re all related. The parish, the village, the people. I would say everyone in the village knows someone who has been impacted by this event.”

Oak Ridge Counseling and Consulting has therapists available to donate time to people impacted by the explosion. The counseling center says people can call or text this number: 920-264-7845