PULASKI — As the Pulaski community continues to ask what exactly happened at a bonfire last Friday night near Hofa Park, the Shawano County Sheriff's Department is searching for the answers.
“At this point, it’s just a game of identifying who was there, who wasn’t there, what they can tell us, statements, videos, anything like that," Chris Madle, Lieutenant at the Shawano County Sheriff's Department, said. "We’re at step one of trying to put the whole thing together.”
The Shawano County Sheriff's Department released an updated statement on Monday, stating that 17 victims were self-transported to hospitals throughout the area, and there were approximately 30 to 40 total victims.
The Pulaski School District also released a statement on Monday, stating that "the district encourages anyone with information regarding the incident to contact the Shawano County Sheriff's Department or the Pulaski Police Department."
Madle said it is suspected that underage drinking was involved in the incident, however, that should not deter anyone involved from coming forward with information.
"If there’s parents and kids who are apprehensive because it was an underage drinking party, it is what it is. We’re not concerned about that. We’re concerned about figuring out what happened," Madle said.
On Wednesday, October 19, detectives will be at the Pulaski Police Department from 4-9 p.m. to talk with victims and witnesses about the explosion.
"Our priority is to figure out what happened with this tragic event, why this fire got out of hand, and making sure that we got all the pieces together because some kids were pretty critically injured," Madle said.
Anyone looking to speak with the detectives should contact the non-emergency dispatch line 715-526-3111.
Those looking to support the victims and their families can donate to their GoFundMe pages below.
Benjamin Van Asten