TOMAHAWK (WAOW) – A 70-year-old man died in the fire that destroyed his rural Tomahawk home, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department said Friday.
Kenneth Pietila, who was wheelchair-bound, was found inside the burning home Thursday afternoon, Tomahawk firefighters were able to rescue him from the basement but he was “beyond life-saving measures,” Sheriff Jeff Jaeger said in a statement.
The fire was reported about 1:30 p.m. Thursday on East Pine Shore Lane in the Town of King after the caller who had arrived at the home to plow snow saw smoke coming out of the basement windows, Jaeger said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation Friday, the sheriff said. No one else was hurt.
Pietila, who an investigator said routinely spent afternoons in the finished basement of the home, was a civil engineer specializing in water treatment who came to Tomahawk in 1991, according to an online obituary in the Tomahawk Leader.