Historic Pembine “mansion” destroyed by arson

MARINETTE, Wis. – The structure fire that started a 65-acre wildfire in Pembine on Wednesday was caused by arson at a historic building known as “Reed Mansion” or “Shield’s Mansion,” Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve said Friday.

He added that the building had been burglarized in recent weeks, and that the incident remains under investigation.

The old, uninhabited house and garage, which were destroyed in the blaze, were located on property at N17834 Ring Lane, near Headquarters Lake.

The “mansion” attracted area teenagers and other people, due to its rumored association with Al Capone, which has caused issues of trespassing and vandalism in the past.

Bruce Djupstrom, forester/ranger at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Pembine ranger station, said that firefighters were alerted to the wildfire at 1:52 p.m. Wednesday.

“The fire was reported to the Wisconsin DNR dispatch in Peshtigo by the Michigan DNR,” said Djupstrom. “They had a plane conducting a wildlife survey in Michigan that spotted the smoke and went to investigate it.”

The fire was on two sides of Headquarters Lake.

Firefighters remained on scene until about 9 p.m. Wednesday. They returned to mop up the area on Thursday.

No one was injured in the fire.

Anyone with information about this fire, or any other criminal activity, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-427-5857 or the Marinette County Sheriff’s Department at (715) 732-7600.