TOWNSHIP OF WIEN (WAOW) -- An early morning fire claims the life of a World War II veteran and life-long logger.
Laddie Dvorak was a true nature's man and he lived among the wild and the things that he loved most: birds, trees and his family. Laddie lived next door to his son, Perry, and daughter-in-law in the township of Wien, just south of Edgar in Marathon County.
The 89-year-old enjoyed logging with his son and watching birds that gathered at the many feeders he put up around his home.
A little before 6:00 AM on Monday, police said a neighbor drove past and noticed Laddie's home was on fire. Perry broke open the window to the first-floor bedroom to try to save his father but said he was overwhelmed by the smoke inside the house.
Numerous fire departments responded to the fire that devoured Laddie's home, ruining nearly everything inside, including the lawn mower he bought last week and never got to use.
Police said Laddie died from breathing in smoke and think the wood-burning stove in the garage ignited the fire. Laddie passed away in the home he built with his own hands more than 50 years ago.