TOWN OF LITTLE FALLS (MONROE COUNTY), Wis. (WEAU) – Four children died after a house fire in rural Monroe County Thursday evening.

The Sparta Area Fire District was called to a reported structure fire on Backtrail Road in the Town of Little Falls east of Melrose at 9:09 p.m. Thursday. According to the Fire District in a release, the report was that a house was on fire with people trapped upstairs and unable to get out.

First responders, including Chief Mike Arnold and Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies, attempted to get into the home but the heat, smoke and fire were too intense. The house was fully engulfed in flames. An exterior attack was made because of the size of the fire.

A fatal house fire in Monroe County, Wis. killed four people on May 5, 2022.
A fatal house fire in Monroe County, Wis. killed four people on May 5, 2022. (Sparta Area Fire District)

After extinguishing the fire, crews began to search the home for victims. The search was made more difficult because the second floor had fallen to the first floor. Four people and several pets were found dead in the debris. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jeff Spencer confirmed Friday afternoon that the four people died were all children.

A fifth child who was at the home attempted to alert the other people in the house about the fire and went to a neighbor’s home to call 911 to report the fire. That child was taken to the hospital, treated and released.

The names are being withheld and the fire is under investigation.

Assisting the Fire District and Sheriff’s Department was the Black River Falls Fire Department, Black River Falls EMS, Sparta Ambulance Service, Gundersen Air, Cataract First Responders, Melrose Fire Department, Jackson Electric, Monroe County 911 Center, Monroe County Medical Examiner, State Fire Marshal’s Office and Chaplain Jeff Skinner.