Weather Forecast


UPDATE: Fire destroys next-generation Glenhaven complex

A pumper from United Fire and Menomonie Fire's aerial rig continued to douse flames in a remote portion of the future Glenhaven nursing home, which was about six months from completion. 2 / 8
A Glenwood City fire department officer exited a second-story hole in the house wrap after checking the progress of Tuesday's firefight.3 / 8
Water tankers or tenders from more than a dozen area departments took turns dumping their loads in a drop tank set up on Oak Street near the burning complex. Firefighters from as far away as Ellsworth and Hudson assisted.4 / 8
Artwork from Glenhaven's web site illustrates the existing facility, at left, and what would have been the future facility -- a network of four, 11-bed households attached to a commons area. 5 / 8
A group of firefighters from Clear Lake and Boyceville fire departments exited the existing nursing home following a warm-up period.6 / 8
Scaffolding to support workers doing outside finishing on the future Glenhaven facility was visible as Menomonie Fire's aerial truck worked to extinguish the flames.7 / 8
Heavy snow continued to fall throughout Tuesday's firefight. A City of Glenwood City plow-equipped pickup slipped off Oak Street while trying to clear the street for firefighters. 8 / 8

GLENWOOD CITY -- A pre-dawn fire Tuesday destroyed a large portion of a $9.7 million building complex under construction, which would have eventually replaced the 44-bed Glenhaven Nursing Home.

Firefighters and apparatus from at least 20 departments, including aerial ladders from Menomonie and River Falls, were at the scene into mid-morning. Many of the agencies brought tankers, used to shuttle water to drop tanks which fed a large aerial stream.

The existing nursing home, attached to the new building under construction was largely unaffected by the fire although a news release issued by the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department said residents had been relocated within the building to keep them safe.

There were no reported injuries as of 10:30 a.m.

Firefighters were using a commons area in the existing nursing home to warm up and take breaks.

Shawn DeWitt, a director with the privately held, non-profit Glenhaven Nursing Home board, captured photos of the building fully involved in flames shortly after 5 a.m. He said web cameras -- positioned to keep the community updated on construction progress -- recorded fire breaking through a roof more than an hour earlier.

DeWitt said the $9.7 million project was about 50 percent complete and was on track for move-in by mid-June.

Royal Construction, of Eau Claire, is general contractor on the job.

"We're so devastated," said City Clerk Shari Rosenow of the fire. "It's like nothing we've ever experienced. It's very, very sad."

DeWitt said he and other board members were "still reeling" from the scope of destruction.

The board was expected to hold an emergency meeting Tuesday evening to decide what its next steps will be.

Among the departments sending water tankers or engines to assist Glenwood City firefighers were United Fire's Baldwin, Hammond and Woodville stations, Menomonie, New Richmond, Roberts-Warren, Hudson, Ellsworth, River Falls, Spring Valley, Deer Park, Prairie Farm, Colfax, Boyceville, Clear Lake and the Chippewa Fire District.