Four children deceased in house fire near Cataract


The Sparta Area Fire District was dispatched to a reported structure fire on Backtrail Road in the Town of Little Falls at 9:09p.m Thursday evening.

The report was a house fire with people trapped upstairs unable to get out.

When Chief Mike Arnold and Monroe County Sheriff's Deputies arrived the home was fully engulfed and attempts were made to make entry but the heat, smoke and fire were too intense.

When fire crews arrived the crews they had to do an exterior attack first because of the amount of fire involvement.

Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire and started the search for the victims.

Crews were hampered as the second floor fell into the first floor and crews had to search through the debris to locate the victims.

Arnold said he was told that 4 victims were in the house and were on the second floor of the home. Another family member was using the bathroom and tried to alert other family members to get out and went to a neighbor’s home and called 911 to report the fire.

All 4 victims were found and several pets were also found on the first floor.

According to a Facebook post by Danielle Coats, the parents of the children and owners of the house are Danielle and Matt Coats. They lost four of their six children in the fire.

Assisting the Fire Department was the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Black River Falls Fire Department, Black River Falls EMS, Sparta Ambulance Service, Gunderson Air, Cataract 1st Responders, Melrose Fire Department, Jackson Electric, Monroe County 911 Center, Monroe County Medical Examiner, State Fire Marshal's Office and Chaplain Jeff Skinner.

More information will be released later on the investigation.


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