Brian Jopek/Lakeland Times
The house at 302 Oneida Street in Minocqua is attached to the Coach House Crossing Apartments as it appeared on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Brian Jopek/Lakeland Times The house at 302 Oneida Street in Minocqua is attached to the Coach House Crossing Apartments as it appeared on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Traffic in all lanes of U.S. Highway 51 through downtown Minocqua was rerouted for a time Saturday night when a historic Minocqua building at the northeast corner of 302 Oneida Street was heavily damaged in a fire.
Minocqua fire chief Luke Taylor told The Lakeland Times the day after the fire not only did the two apartments in the upper level of the commercial building on that corner of Oneida Street catch fire but the fire then spread to the attic area of the eight-unit Coach House Crossing Apartments which are attached to the building at 302 Oneida Street. 
He said firefighters were able to keep flames out of the living units of the Coach House Crossing Apartments but there was substantial water damage from firefighting efforts. 
Taylor said the apartments had been cleared by the time firefighting units arrived and one person, Roger Nordrum, 70, was evacuated by Minocqua police officers and transported from the scene by ambulance to a burn unit in Madison. 
Nordrum died Monday night and Tuesday, Minocqua police chief Dave Jaeger said the medical examiner will make a determination as to whether or not an autopsy would be performed. 
He said as of Tuesday, the investigation into a cause for the fire has revealed “nothing suspicious.”
Firefighters from several different departments, including Minocqua, Woodruff, Hazelhurst and Arbor Vitae responded to the blaze, Taylor at one point issuing a mutual aid box alarm system (MABAS) call through the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, asking primarily for water tankers from several of the departments. 
Two ladder trucks were at the scene, one from the Woodruff fire department and the other from the Eagle River fire department. 
Regarding a cause for the fire, Taylor said it “was inconclusive.”
“The fire’s cause didn’t look like anything electrical or building-related,” Taylor said. 
Laura McGuire, regional public information for the Red Cross, told the Times Monday the agency had received assistance requests from or on behalf of seven of the families displaced by the fire in Minocqua Saturday night. 
“Unfortunately, what we see with house fires like this is we really rely on people calling for help after the fire,” she said. 
McGuire said the Red Cross number individuals who need immediate assistance following a fire such as the one in downtown Minocqua on Jan. 21 is 1-800-733-2767.
The original building, according to Minocqua historian Dan Scrobell, was built in 1909 and the eight-unit apartment building attached to it known today as the Coach House Crossing Apartments was built 20 years later.
For the past three years, the ground floor, commercial space of the house at 302 Oneida Street has been leased by the Redman Realty Group.
Jacqueline Kirkham, general manager of Redman Realty Group, told the Times Wednesday she’s working on relief efforts for the displaced families, details of which will be announced at a later time once Kirkham is able to get everything organized. 
“We were tenants as well,” she said. “Commercial tenants on the ground floor ... and as tenants, our hearts go out to the upstairs tenants who lost their homes.”
 Brian Jopek may be reached via email at [email protected]