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ATF investigates fire at Wilderness Resort dormitory that caused $5 million in damage

Involvement does not indicate criminal activity

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Response Team joined the investigation of a fire that caused more than $5 million in damage in Wisconsin Dells. 

The fire at an employee dormitory near the Wilderness Lodge Thursday morning left the three-story new construction building a total loss. 

The ATF will assist the Delton Fire Department, the Lake Delton Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation in investigating what started the fire. 

Officials with the federal agency said that their involvement in the investigation does not necessarily indicate criminal activity, but that the agency often works jointly with local authorities and provides additional resources. 

 “With a large structure fire like this, the local authorities often need help to conduct interviews with
witnesses and to sift through the debris of the structure remnants,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge Joel Lee, of the ATF Milwaukee Field Office, said.

Crews from 10 fire departments, three law enforcement agencies, four emergency medical services departments, three public works departments and the Salvation Army responded to the fire Thursday morning. 


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