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Thread: LODD Wisconsin Firefighter Dies in Blaze

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    LODD Wisconsin Firefighter Dies in Blaze

    Wisconsin Firefighter Dies in Blaze


    Updated: 08-14-2006 03:24:02 PM



    Courtesy of WBAY-TV



    "We're supposed to be the people that save and not lose," a choked up Fire Chief Jeff Stauber said Monday morning at a news conference about the death of a 17-year veteran firefighter. "It's devastating."

    Engineer Arnie Wolff, 55, died Sunday in a house fire on Green Bay's east side, five days before he was to earn a ********* to lieutenant.

    Chief Stauber says firefighters were called to the home at 438 Edgewood Drive minutes before 12:30 Sunday afternoon. Two firefighters entered through the home's back door. The floor collapsed and they fell into the basement, which was filled with burning debris.

    Stauber believes the fire was contained in the basement and was "fully involved" -- and firefighters were unaware of it until the collapse.

    The other firefighter, Jo Brinkley-Chaudoir, was able to escape through a basement window, Stauber said. Fire crews could not enter the home to search for Wolff immediately because the burning home was too dangerous.

    Brinkley-Chaudoir, an eleven-year veteran firefighter, was treated at a hospital and released. Stauber said she returned to the fire scene to offer her help in the investigation.

    All afternoon and evening, on-duty and off-duty firefighters from around the city stopped at the scene to be with their fellow firefighters. A number of city leaders, including Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, also stopped at the scene.

    A Green Bay police captain tells us the Wolff's body was recovered from the rubble at about 2:30 Monday morning. A procession of firefighters and police officers escorted the body to St. Vincent Hospital, where an autopsy is planned Tuesday.

    Wolff joined the department in January 1989. He was currently assigned to Engine 451 at Station 5, and also served as a paramedic.

    Wolff "really enjoyed the medical part of our job, responding to medical calls," Chief Stauber said. "Our hearts go out to him and his family."

    Stauber said Wolff's ********* to lieutenant on Thursday will proceed posthumously.

    Wolff leaves behind a wife and three children.

    Firefighters are receiving counseling, both through the firefighters' peer program and city program, Stauber said.

    The State Department of Criminal Investigation and the A.T.F. are investigating the fire. Stauber said the DCI came in to ensure an unbiased investigation about the fire's cause and origin.

    The Green Bay Fire Department started a memorial fund. Donations can be mailed to:

    In Memory of Engineer Arnie Wolff
    c/o Green Bay Fire Dept.
    501 S. Washington St.
    Green Bay, WI 54301-4218

    Republished with permission of WBAY-TV.
    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=50680
    Green Bay Fire Department
    Firefighter Arnie Wolff

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