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Massive downtown Pulaski fire cause ruled "undetermined"

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Fire at Wood Lanes in downtown Pulaski on Saturday December 3, 2011. (courtesy of FOX 11)
Fire at Wood Lanes in downtown Pulaski on Saturday December 3, 2011. (courtesy of FOX 11)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The cause of December's massive downtown fire in Pulaski has been classified as "undetermined."

A joint news release Tuesday by the State Fire Marshal's office, Pulaski Tri-County Fire Department, Pulaski Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said, "After a thorough investigation, which included information obtained from witnesses, study of the building construction and fire scene examination, investigators have concluded that the fire at Wood Lanes on December 2, 2011, originated within, or above, the men's bathroom on the ground floor of the structure. The cause of the fire has been classified as “undetermined.”"

On December 2, 2011, at 11:30 PM, the Brown County 911 Center received a report of a commercial structure fire at Wood Lanes, a bar and bowling alley located at 109 West Pulaski Street in the Village of Pulaski.

The Village of Pulaski Police Department and Pulaski Tri-County Fire Department responded to the call. Subsequent requests for mutual aid resulted in firefighters and equipment from more than 30 surrounding fire departments responding to the scene.

On December 03, 2011, the Chief of the Pulaski Police Department requested assistance from the State Fire Marshal's Office after consulting with the Brown County Fire Investigation Task Force and the Chief of the Pulaski Tri-County Fire Department.  Agents from the Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and agents from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms responded to the scene.

Investigators conducted a fire scene examination to identify the area of fire origin and to examine potential ignition sources in the area. 

The fire scene examination also incorporated information obtained from witnesses, building construction methods, and the recognition, identification and interpretation of fire pattern evidence.

Investigators also collected numerous items of evidence from the fire scene for laboratory analysis. No common ignitable liquids were detected in any of the items submitted for analysis.

The investigation is complete. 

Fire investigators were aided on scene by heavy equipment paid for in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arson Insurance Council Equipment Grant Program.

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