23 agencies respond to Pulaski fire

Two businesses destroyed, surrounding structures saved
NEW Media Staff

A Sept. 14 fire that destroyed two businesses in downtown Pulaski illustrated the value of mutual aid agreements among fire departments across northeast Wisconsin.

The blaze, which broke out around 3:30 p.m., destroyed the structure at 114 and 118 W. Pulaski St., a building that housed LaCount Auctions LLC and A Kut Above Salon.

Roughly 23 agencies from surrounding counties responded to the call, Fire Chief James Styczynski said. Most of them are part of the MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) for Oconto, Brown and Shawano counties, which can quickly deploy fire, rescue and emergency medical services personnel in a multi-jurisdictional or multi-agency response.

A tree being removed behind the building apparently fell on some power lines, sparking the fire. Styczynski said the blaze spread so quickly that crews were unable to get inside and had to concentrate on making sure it didn’t spread to other nearby structures.

“We just focused on a defensive attack, caught the perimeters and made sure it stayed in the main structure and took care of the outside,” he said.

Everyone escaped safely, including four dogs from an attached home, but four cats were missing. No firefighters were injured.

The Pulaski Tri-County Fire Department Facebook page posted a thank you to all of the responding agencies and the community that rallied around the firefighting effort.

“Any direction we looked, we saw people looking to help each other and all of our responders from all over,” the statement said. “That is the amazing part of our small town and the values that show when needed most.”

Dawn Tooley-Sinnaeve, owner of the hair salon, posted a photograph of a rainbow that was formed when water being sprayed on the burning structure interacted with the Thursday afternoon sun.

“I’m going to get this framed for my new salon,” Tooley-Sinnaeve said. “I love the meaning behind this picture to me.”