Wilderness Resort dormitory fire ruled arson; $10,000 reward offered

 Investigators say they now believe the fire that destroyed a dormitory at the Wilderness Resort was arson.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says there is now a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved.

The fire broke out early the morning of Jan. 25, 2018. Heidi Fendos, a PR Counsel for Wilderness Resort, said at the time that security noticed smoke in the building around 4:10 a.m. in a dormitory that was being built for J-1 visa international workers. The Lake Delton Fire Department was called to the scene.

The Wilderness Resort hotel was unaffected by the fire and continues to be open for business.

Fendos says there were no injuries and no employees or guests were affected by the fire.

“Wilderness Resort management is continuing to cooperate with the Lake Delton Police Department and all other authorities working on the investigation of the cause of our J-1 dormitory fire, " said Joe Eck, General Manager of Wilderness Resort, in a statement.

Fire crews worked on protecting neighboring structures and two neighboring buildings sustained damage, according to a news release from the Lake Delton Fire Department.

There also was a large construction crane on scene that was affected by fire resulting in a partial collapse.

The fire was under control at approximately 5 a.m.

The building was a total loss. The building was under construction with a completion date of the end of May.

The dormitory was intended to house Wilderness Resort international workers here on J-1 visas. The damage estimate is expected to exceed $100,000. There were no injuries to civilians or emergency responders.

All of the employees evacuated from the neighboring dormitory were allowed to return to their rooms about two hours later. 


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