Friends and family help organize benefit for victims of Oconto fire

OCONTO, Wis. (WBAY) -- Action 2 News first told you on Monday the Oconto Police Department identified the victims of a deadly house fire on Friday.

Katherine DeCoursin, 35; Jeri Schroeder, 15; Dalton Schroeder, 13; and Nicholas DeCoursin, 11. Photo Credit: Rhodes Charapata Funeral Home and Crematory

Katherine DeCoursin, 35 and her children Jeri Schroeder, 15; Dalton Schroeder, 13; and Nicholas DeCoursin, 11, were found dead inside their home on Fabry Street.

“When we were at the house that day and the chief of police came by and you could see the tears in his eyes. It was pretty emotional for all those guys too,” said Steve Hirschfield, a second cousin to Katherine.

He says the whole neighborhood is feeling the pain of losing the family.

“Neighbors of Kathy, their kids played with her kids, they don't even want to live in that area right now because of the memories,” said Hirschfield.

To help honor the good memories, Hirschfield has teamed up with Tracey Bostedt to host a benefit for the family.

“We're going to be doing bucket raffles, we have a silent auction, and also a paddle wheel and we'll be doing a 50/50 so we're looking for anything anyone can donate to help out with this cause,” said Bostedt.

All of the money raised will go to help with funeral expenses, and possibly something extra for the kids if enough money is raised.

“Maybe they want to do something plant a tree in their name, something for the kids, because I know some of the children at the schools, classmates are having a hard time as well,” said Bostedt.

Bostedt is no stranger to helping out those in need, often stepping in to help organize benefits, but this one hits closer to home for her.

“I grew up with some of the cousins, so they reached out to me and I said that I would gladly get some friends and family together…we don't like to reconnect because of this, but it's just a good cause to bring everybody together,” said Bostedt.

The benefit is scheduled for March 28 at Crivello’s in downtown Oconto starting at Noon.

A DeCoursin Fire Fund has been set up at N.E.W. Credit Union locations in Oconto County.

People can donate to the fund by stopping at N.E.W. Credit Union branches in Oconto, Oconto Falls, Suring or Peshitgo.

You can also mail donations (include a message referencing the DeCoursin Fire Fund) to N.E.W. Credit Union at this address:

301 Jackson Street
Oconto Falls, WI 54154