A family in Land O’ Lakes lost nearly everything in a house fire on the afternoon of Jan. 11. With the help of Vilas County Social Services, they are seeking donations to help get them back on their feet.
Danielle Wallschlaeger was outside playing with her three boys — ages six, four and two — around 1 p.m. on Jan. 11 when she saw smoke coming from her house. Her 10-month-old daughter was napping inside.
“I ran inside the house, grabbed my daughter from her crib and went back next door to my uncle’s house,” she said. From there, she called 911.
Wallschlaeger, her fiance and four children had been staying in the house with her mother, who had been renting it from Wallschlaeger’s aunt.
The blaze consumed nearly everything in the house including eight cats, four dogs, two turtles and four piranhas. One cat survived.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but an initial investigation by the Vilas County Sheriff’s Office indicated it may have been started by a space heater.
The entire family is currently living at a hotel in Eagle River, but looking for alternative housing options. They are also currently without transportation.
“Right now we really need help finding a place to stay. We really need to get a vehicle,” Wallschlaeger said.
In addition, the family needs clothing and diapers for the children as well as cleaning supplies in anticipation of heavy smoke damage.
Sizes for diapers are 3 and 5. Clothing sizes for the boys are 3T, 4T, 5T, and size 7. The baby fits clothing sizes 6-9 months and 6-12 months. Wallschlaeger and her mother are a size 2X.
Wallschlaeger said they are currently using a few diapers and clothing items she has already received.
She is unsure how long they will need supplies and assistance.
Donations are being collected by Vilas County Social Services, which is based in Eagle River.
To find out how to donate, contact Vilas County Social Services at 715-479-3668.
Delaney FitzPatrick may be reached via email at [email protected].