Amberg fatal fire started in basement

MARINETTE, Wis. – Authorities believe the fatal fire in Amberg, Wis., started in the basement, Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve said today.

A two-year-old girl died Nov. 26 in a structure fire in the town of Amberg.

“The fire was believed to have originated in the basement, where two children were playing,” Sauve said. “It is believed the fire started accidently by the children playing with a lighter.”

Lee-Ann R. Arendt died of smoke inhalation, the autopsy showed.

“There was a delay in finding the victim as it appeared she hid when the fire broke out,” Sauve said.

The Wisconsin State Fire Marshal believes this to be accidental and there is no sign of foul play, the sheriff said.

Arendt’s mother and two sisters were able to escape the blaze, which started at a residence on U.S. 141 at about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Assisting at the scene were several area fire departments, including the Amberg Fire Department, Athelstane Fire Department, Wausaukee Fire Department, and Pembine Fire Department.

Also on hand were Wausaukee Rescue, Pembine Rescue, IFR Rescue, Thedastar, Wisconsin Public Service, and Marinette County Coroner George Smith.