Underhills lose house to fire

An Underhill family's possession and pets were destroyed in a fire Thursday afternoon.

"There's barely any walls standing," said Brian Vogt, who left the house shortly before noon to drive into Shawano. "It was gone within an hour."

The blaze apparently broke out a few moments later. Vogt said a UPS driver stopping at the home of a neighbor who'd seen Vogt leave a few minutes earlier noticed smoke coming from the house.

Underhill Fire Chief Marty Hatton was picking through the remnants of the two-story brick home Friday attempting to determine how the fire started.

"There's not a whole lot left," Hatton said. "We'll see what we can find. Everything's pretty well buried."

Hatton and Vogt said the fire apparently started on the main floor of the home, which was located on Nuske Road about five miles south of Underhill, just over the county line Oconto County.

No one was home at the time. Vogt's wife Raelene was substitute teaching at Sacred Heart School in Shawano, and their nine-year-old daughter was at school.

Vogt said the family lost five pet cats and a dog in the fire, although he thinks two of the cats may been outside at the time. But they have not yet turned up.

Hatton said firefighters were on the scene until about 8 p.m. Thursday. They returned Friday to douse hot spots and attempt to determine the cause.

The Vogts, who have insurance, spent Thursday at the town of Wescott home of his mother, Sherry Filter.

Filter learned about the fire a short time after firefighters arrived. Filter said she was frantic because it wasn't immediately clear if Brian was home, but a 911 operator helped her until he was located.

"I don't know the 911 operator, but this woman was fantastic," Filter said. "She kept me calm when I didn't know if my son was in that house or not."

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By Leader staff writer
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