Man dies in Grand Chute duplex fire

The fire started in the kitchen and spread to the living room, firefighters say
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 9:22 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2022 at 6:46 PM CST
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GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - A 55-year-old man and a dog were found dead after a house fire on S. Olson Ave. Sunday night.

The Grand Chute Fire Department says it was the victim’s wife who called 911 to report the fire, at 7:50 p.m., when she got home from work.

Firefighters found flames on the side of the single-story duplex the woman shared with her husband. Although they were able to quickly put out the fire, they found the man and dog inside the house. Authorities are not releasing the victim’s name yet.

What caused the fire wasn’t immediately apparent, but the Grand Chute Fire Department believes it started in the kitchen of the home and spread to the front of the home where the living room was located.

According to Asst. Chief Kelly Hanink with the Grand Chute Fire Department, ”There were smoke detectors. but we do not know if they were working. They were too damaged to tell, but there was a report from the first-in crew that there was nothing sounding. So, that is one of the main things we want to get across to people that working smoke alarms do save lives and do alert people early enough to try and get out of their homes.”

The investigation is being coordinated among the Grand Chute fire and police departments and the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation -- which we’re told is routine after a fatal fire. We’re told it doesn’t appear that the fire was suspicious or foul play was involved.

In addition to the victim’s wife, two other adults, including the couple’s son and his roommate who lived in the other side of the duplex, needed to find another place to stay. They’re getting help from the American Red Cross.

The Grand Chute Fire Department is advising everyone to make sure they have working smoke alarms and practice an escape plan, saying, “Fires move fast in today’s homes.”

Grand Chute received assistance from Appleton and Fox Crossing fire departments, which responded automatically to the call under their mutual aid agreements. The Greenville Fire Department, Outagamie County Community Emergency Response Team, Gold Cross Ambulance, Fox Cities Victim Crisis Response Team, and We Energies also provided support.

The fire was reported by the victim's wife who saw the flames when she came home from work
The fire was discovered by the victim's wife when she came home from work