Gofundme for Monroe Co. family who lost four children in fire approaches goal

LITTLE FALLS, Wis. (WKBT) — A Gofundme collection for a Monroe County family who lost four of their six children in a house fire two weeks ago is approaching its $200,000 goal.

The drive for the family of Matthew Coats and his wife, Daniel, reached nearly $183,000 by Thursday afternoon. Coats’ brother-in-law Dennis Larsen started the Gofundme account on May 6, the day after a blaze enveloped their Little Falls home.

Five children were alone in the house when the fire started, but only one escaped, fire officials said. The couple and another sibling were not home at the time.

The four younger children — Brielle, Brewer, Braxton and Brycen — and the family’s pets perished, according to the Gofundme notice. The couple’s surviving children are son Blandon and daughter Bristol.

RELATED: Four children dead in Monroe County house fire

Firefighters were called to the home at 3679 Backtrail Road in the town of Little Falls around 9 p.m. May 5 for a report of a house fire with several people possibly trapped on the second floor.

The front of the house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, but they were able to extinguish the blaze quickly, Sparta Fire Chief Mike Arnold said at the time. The second floor of the house collapsed, he said.

The cause and origin of the fire are unknown have not been disclosed.

The four deceased children attended elementary school in the Melrose-Mindoro School District.

Donations to the Gofundme account range from $10 on up, with many in the $100 range and the top contribution being $17,000. Gofundme typically charges 2.9 percent of contributions, with another 30 cents deducted for each donation.

A clothing drive for the family is underway at COW97 in Sparta. That drive also is accepting gift cards.