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Pulaski community comes together to support those affected by bonfire explosion

Posted at 9:21 PM, Oct 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-17 22:38:45-04

PULASKI — Several people suffered serious burns from a bonfire explosion that happened on Friday night on Cedar Drive in Maple Grove, according to the Shawano County Sheriff's office.

Some of those injured came to the local Green Bay area hospitals and Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Regional Burn Center in Milwaukee confirmed they received six teenagers.

The investigation is still ongoing and some details remain unclear. However, what is clear is that the community is here to help and support those affected.

Assumption BVM Catholic Church in Pulaski held a special prayer service on Sunday night for the community and is also providing financial and housing help to families who have children receiving care in Milwaukee.

"There's one family where there's seven children and six of the children are here in Pulaski, and Mom and Dad are taking care of their son down in Milwaukee," Father Jim of Assumption BVM said. "We're taking care of the needs of the families and of the children."

Dr. Abby Huntley said her team at Oak Ridge Counseling and Consulting will be showing their support by donating time and therapy services to those who need it.

"It can be anything. It can be going for a walk, talking about it. It can be meeting you at school or at your house or coming to your office. It doesn't have to be one sort of way," Huntley said. "Whatever your process is for getting through this is going to be okay. There doesn't have to be any sort of judgement in it."

Huntley added that services are available to anyone in the community, whether it be a parent impacted or the school district.

She also stressed the importance of ensuring parents check their children's phones to make sure images or videos from the incident are not being shared around.

"It's a secondary trauma," Huntley said. "It's another way we can help those affected."

Community members have also started their own fundraisers to help. Mallory Kinchen, who is a mother to students in the Pulaski School District, is one of them.

"It affects everyone," Kinchen said. "Somewhere along the line, someone knows someone who was affected by this."

She said the goal of her page is to raise a minimum of $2,000 to provide gas and gift cards and other expenses to the families that will be commuting to and from hospitals in Milwaukee for care.

"It's the little things that make a big difference, and it's one less thing that these families have to worry about so that they can focus on taking care of their kids right now," Kinchen said.

Many members of the community have expressed that it's more important than ever to come together and lean on each other during a time like this.

"When one family hurts, all of us hurt," Father Jim said.

This is a story that continues to develop.

GoFundMe Pages to support the victims and their families can be found below.

Brady McAllister
Brandon Brzcezkowski
Benjamin Van Asten
Isaac Nelson
Keira Duchateau
Lily Koellner
Matthew Lindsley

General Fundraiser