Cause unknown in Water St. fire that killed two UWEC studentsRoss Livermore, 21, a sophomore computer science major, died. Jacob Clarkson, 22, a senior computer science major at UWEC, died Tuesday, according to the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
By: By Chuck Rupnow, The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Superior Telegram
Eau Claire police and fire officials are continuing to examine the cause of a fire early Monday morning that claimed the life of two Stillwater, Minn., men.
Four men, all from Stillwater and students at UW-Eau Claire, were victims of the fire at 630 ½ Water St., according to university officials.
Ross Livermore, 21, a sophomore computer science major, died. Jacob Clarkson, 22, a senior computer science major at UWEC, died Tuesday, according to the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
Garret Isakson, 21, a junior management major, and Casey Malan, 21, a senior English major, were both treated at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and released.
Smoke alarms were present in the upper-level apartment where the fire was noticed by a passing police officer shortly before 6 a.m.
Eau Claire Fire Department Battalion Chief Dave Okas said the detectors were present, "but I don't know if they were working."
The building at 630 Water St. contains Clear Water Real Estate on the lower level and an apartment upstairs.
Deputy fire Chief Scott Burkart on Monday said fire inspections are not made on one- and two-family dwellings but are mandated twice a year on businesses. On Monday, Burkart said the department had no fire inspection reports on the real estate business, which has been at that location for several years.
"We're still checking into why there are no records on that," he said Monday afternoon. "The apartment upstairs, we would not have done an inspection."
Matt McHugh of Clear Water declined to comment Monday morning about the fire, other than to say it was a tragedy. He and others removed items from the building, which is considered a "total loss," according to Okas.
Fire Department estimates list the structure damage at $122,000.
Okas said officials learned en route to the scene two people may be in the burning building.
"Our primary mission at that point was to get a line in there and do a rescue. We had two crews on the second floor, which is where they were said to be," he said. "We found both individuals relatively quick and both were rescued and brought down to ambulances and taken to Mayo."
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