Trustees alarmed by blaze


— The Oak Creek Board of Trustees asked members of the Oak Creek Fire District for some notice the next time the volunteer firefighters set a controlled burn for training purposes.

The request came Thursday at a town meeting, days after firefighters burned down the old American Legion building in Oak Creek on Sunday for training purposes.

Oak Creek Town Manager Ray Leibensperger said he received numerous phone calls concerning the incident.

First Lieutenant Kelly Lipsie and Second Lieutenant Tony Morgan were the two high ranking firefighters at the fire, with Lipsie being in command.

Lipsie said he contacted all the neighbors of the building about the burn, but he didn't notify the people living at the Senior Citizen Apartment Building.

Town Trustees Sonja Norris said smoke filled the apartment building and some people living there became sick because of it.

"I apologize to the senior citizens," Lipsie said.

Oak Creek Fire Chief Chuck Wisecup was out of town during the burn.

He told the board that the fire district usually doesn't give the town notice when it does the controlled burns. He said the trustees' concerns about notification were valid.

"A little notification would be nice; but I wouldn't vote for a resolution to tie the fire districts hands," Trustee Mike Kien said.

Norris said she supports the firefighters doing the burns, but agreed that some notification needs to happen.

As far as the details of the burn like reports that the site remained smoldering a day later and if the county dispatch was contacted Wisecup said he is doing an investigation of those matters. He will discuss the issue further at the Oak Creek Fire Board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in Oak Creek.

Wisecup did comment that the reported "explosion" that the burning building produced, which was heard through town, was misleading.

Kien also said the sound heard through town wasn't an explosion and described the noise as a "whump."

Local Ron Crawford, who owns the land the old American Legion building was on, said he was pleased with the firefighters' work.


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