Boathouse Fire



Arson is being investigated in an early morning fire that destroyed a boathouse on Latsch Island.

Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said the call came in at 4:47 a.m. Thursday from a passerby who noticed the boathouse burning.

The owner, identified as Jim O'Grady, was not there at the time.

Assistant Fire Chief Jim Multhaup said the boathouse had no electricity or heating fuel and was totally destroyed.

Brand said police notified a man, identified as Lance Merchlewitz by banging on the door of a next door boathouse and helped him evacuate.

Contents inside the O'Grady boathouse, including furniture, and six or seven outboard motors, were all destroyed. Brand said the boathouse was insured.

No injuries were reported.

Multhaup said the O' Grady boathouse was fully engulfed in flames hen firefighters arrived. He said the Merchlewitz boathouse had its vinyl siding melted but sustained no structural damage

Multhaup said arson is a possibility and being investigated.

Firefighters were on the scene about 90 minutes.

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Topics : Disaster_Accident
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People : Jim MulthaupLance Merchlewitz
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