Slumberland Furniture owner says ‘We will rebuild’

The tarnished ruins of the Slumberland Furniture fire remain three weeks later. Insurance adjusters are expected to investigate the site on May 16 and, as soon as possible after, tear down and clean-up will commence. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

The owner of Slumberland Furniture in Prairie du Chien says a new store will be constructed in the community, though no indication of when and where that will take place has been given. This report is the first to come from Owner Rob Dowd since the April 13 fire that devastated the retailer’s Blackhawk Junction location.

“Oh, we will rebuild,” was all Dowd would confirm last week, Thursday. He added that the investigation continues into what may have caused the fire, which broke out around 7:10 p.m. Sunday, April 13, and lasted into Monday morning, April 14. Seven area fire departments assisted the Prairie du Chien Fire Department in battling the blaze.

The Wisconsin State Fire Marshal’s Office responded to investigate soon after the fire was extinguished and spent about a day on scene.

“Nobody was injured, nobody died, so the state isn’t going to spend thousands of dollars investigating what happened,” Prairie du Chien Fire Chief Harry Remz said.

Since then, the immediate Slumberland site has remained fenced off for reasons of public safety. The Wisconsin State Patrol was on scene, round the clock, for several days following the fire, but has since left. Local fire department and law enforcement officials continue to monitor the sullied ruins and passers-by are reminded to stay away from the site.

The only business open at the Blackhawk Junction shopping mall at this time is Nelson True Value. Other merchants in that section of the mall—such as Sears, Family Dollar, MG&E/Prairie du Chien Gas Company, Blackhawk Cleaners—are still closed to walk-in customers for an undetermined amount of time.

Clean-up, electrical work and assessment of the remainder of the mall are ongoing, as the merchants work to restock inventory and reopen their doors.

According to Chief Remz, he’s been told that insurance adjusters will gather to investigate the fire site on May 16.

“They have to wait for them all to get together. We’re hoping to be able to tear down (what’s still standing) and clean up as soon as possible afterward,” Remz stated.

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