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Neighbors in Door County are helping each other after a fire destroys a home for seasonal workers

Posted at 4:13 PM, Apr 25, 2024

DOOR COUNTY (NBC 26) — Neighbors are helping neighbors after a fire destroyed this property that was used for employee housing.

  • Video shows crews assessing the damage and working on cleaning up the house that caught fire Wednesday night.
  • The 911 call came in just before midnight on Wednesday.
  • "It is uninhabitable at this point," said Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald.
  • The owners, Scott and Julie Barnes, say off-camera that the home is used for their seasonal employees.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

We now have more on a house fire that has left the owners wondering what's next for their employees.

"It’s the whole county, we work so well together from Brussels all the way to Washington Island," said Chief MacDonald.

Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says it was all hands on deck with many communities coming to help put out the flames at this home in Ephraim.

The 911 call came in just before midnight on Wednesday by the owner's son, who is living there with another adult and a pet.

"The fire was under control just about just shy of one o'clock this morning. We were here till four o'clock," said Chief MacDonald.

Nobody was hurt but the fire did a lot of damage to the home.

"It is uninhabitable at this point," said Chief MacDonald.

The cause remains under investigation.

The owners, Scott and Julie Barnes, tell me off-camera that the home is used for their seasonal employees, who are not here yet for the summer.

The home is located next door to their businesses, the Ephraim Motel and Door County Rock and Gem.

Chief MacDonald says Ephraim is a small community, but businesses, like Klaud's Kitchen across the street is offering to help.

"That shows what kind of community we live in. Everybody's here to help each other out," said Chief MacDonald.

The Barnes said the fire was too fresh and emotional to talk about at this moment but wanted to thank the community for their support during this time.